The purpose of this study is to put forward examples of disciplinary practices, i.e. to interpret Foucault's ideas with data collected from today's working‐life in schools and prisons. Besides describing disciplinary practices the intention is to describe how individuals cope with the dilemmas that follow. On the grounds of the analysis a discussion about the tension between freedom and docility and different individuals’ strategies for coping with this tension is also promoted.
Data are collected from teachers in schools and warders in prisons. The empirical question relates to how disciplinary practises are expressed and the dilemmas that follow. In the analysis the concepts of Foucault, time, space and visibility, as relations of power, are used.
The article shows examples of disciplining and the dilemmas following from disciplining, both at individual and organisational level. Encountering new demands in their work, teachers tend to stick harder to their profession while warders tend to freely use their life experiences to develop their work. One conclusion is that freedom may be easier when individual values and organisational values are in coherence with one another, and docility is more often used when they differ.
That there are tensions between individuals’ striving for freedom and organisations’ striving for their disciplining is no news but on the grounds of the empirical data dilemmas and how teachers and warders cope with them in their work are described. The data also encourage further discussion while it brings findings of different ways of coping, for example when it comes to professionals and non‐professionals.
Sandoff, M. and Widell, G. (2008), "Coping with discipline: Discipline and dilemmas among teachers and warders", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 28 No. 11/12, pp. 458-471. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330810915189Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited