Exploring the Development of Contemporary Foucault Thought: from Mattelart to the Toronto School

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How is it analyzed using Foucault’s analysis? Is there a specific method, and how should Foucault’s analysis be used? How is the development of communication studies that use Foucault as an analytical knife?

These are some of the questions raised and discussed in the Book Review Series 2 by Perspektif ID on Political Criticism of Power: discourse, text, and identity held on July 24, 2022. Holy Rafika Dhona, a lecturer in Communication at UII, who was the sole speaker of the book, answered some of these questions. “If we are looking for a prototype of methodical Foucauldian analysis, we can start referring to two parties who are currently developing it,” said Holy, who is also currently developing the Geography Communication research cluster at UII Communication.

Holy continued, First, there is Arman Mattelart, “He is a Belgian who uses Foucault’s archaeology and genealogy to talk about communication. For example, how communication is defined, starting from the French revolution, enlightenment etc.” The second one, and the one that is probably now using Foucault, is the Toronto School. “The Toronto School is what updated Mcluhan because there was a lot of criticism of him. For example, people at the Toronto School are talking about using Foucault to see how technology is used as an instrument of surveillance, domination, etc.,” Holy explained in front of the audience and the author of the book Spectrum of Criticism of Communication Reason (from epistemology, democracy, and digital market determination) via Online.

Then how is the analysis using Foucault’s analysis? “Usually, the steps I take to analyze in a Foucauldian way inevitably have to use archaeology and genealogy,” Holy said.

This includes understanding the three main points of Foucault: knowledge, power, and subject. “At the same time, you have to look at the context. For example, when using Foucault’s ‘discipline’, the context was born when Foucault was active in j.i.p, an organization that dealt with prison information there,” Holy explained. “So if people want to analyze taking ‘discipline’ without reading the context, they will look Marxian rather than Foucauldian,” he added.