Including the excluded

I’ve reflected elsewhere on the inclusion of the excluded.

In Discipline and Punish, Foucault writes,

The carceral [of, relating to, or suggesting a jail or prison] network does not cast the unassimilable into a confused hell; there is no outside. It takes back with one hand what it seems to exclude with the other. It saves everything, including what it punishes. It is unwilling to waste even what it has decided to disqualify. In this panoptic society of which incarceration is the omnipresent armature, the delinquent is not outside the law; he is, from the very outset, in the law, at the very heart of the law, or at least in the midst of those mechanisms that transfer the individual imperceptibly from discipline to the law, from deviation to offence. Although it is true that prison punishes delinquency, delinquency is for the most part produced in and by an incarceration which, ultimately, prison perpetuates in its turn. The prison is merely the natural consequence, no more than a higher degree, of that hierarchy laid down step by step. The delinquent is an institutional product. It is no use being surprised, therefore, that in a considerable proportion of cases the biography of convicts passes through all these mechanisms and establishments whose purpose, it is widely believed, is to lead away from prison. That one should find in them what one might call the index of an irrepressibly delinquent ‘character’: the prisoner condemned to hard labour was meticulously produced by a childhood spent in a reformatory, according to the lines of force of the generalized carceral system. Conversely, the lyricism of marginality may find inspiration in the image of the ‘outlaw’, the great social nomad, who prowls on the confines of a docile, frightened order. But it is not on the fringes of society and through successive exiles that criminality is born, but by means of ever more closely placed insertions, under ever more insistent surveillance, by an accumulation of disciplinary coercion. In short, the carceral archipelago assures, in the depths of the social body, the formation of delinquency on the basis of subtle illegalities, the overlapping of the latter by the former and the establishment of a specified criminality.

p. 301

Including the excluded is the primary deconstructive move–“The text has no outside.” Criminals are not outside of society; in fact, they are the subject (or object of study) of a “science“–criminology.

Inclusion can also be called integration, while exclusion equates to nonintegration. A person might be excluded to a great extent from the economy or education, but simultaneously included in the prison system—i.e., firmly integrated into the prison system.

A person can be under- or over-integrated into society. If they are under-integrated, they might lack housing, food, employment, healthcare, education, etc. If they are over-integrated they can be in prison and have housing, food, work, and healthcare forced on them. If they go on a hunger strike or try to commit suicide, for example, the prison authorities will intervene; the prisoner’s body has been fully integrated into the prison system.


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