Biopower refers to the institutional control of bodies. It refers to the ways in which power polices people to act in certain ways. This form of control is how institutions affect discourse and the way others can conceive of the world. When discussing “biopower” in Discipline and Punish, Foucault gives the example of a prison system called the panopticon. The panopticon was a prison structure where the prisoners were put in cells surrounding a central guard tower. The prisoners never knew when they were being watched, so they engaged in self-policing of their activity. In the same way, biopower encourages this form of self-policing via institutions controlling discourse because one never knows when the institutions are paying attention. The control is thus internalized and often unconscious.  [Satveer]

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