Foucault’s concept of Biopower

Choose one essay question and write an essay of 1500 words. Answer one question only.

1. You may use any recognised referencing style.
2. There is no set number of references required, but it is expected that your essay will demonstrate
clearly that you have engaged with the subject readings and lectures.
3. You may cite the lectures. It should be referenced as follows, Buchanan Lecture X.
4. There will be no penalty for late work, but work submitted after the due date will receive a grade
only (i.e., no feedback will be given).
5. All work must be submitted by the end of the exam period.
Your essay will be evaluated against the following criteria:
(1)Thesis statement: Clearly and concisely states the essay’s purpose and demonstrates the
relevance of the content of the essay to the question. Contains a declarative sentence that is
engaging and thought provoking.
(2)Using evidence: uses externally sourced material, such as research findings, facts, quotations,
or other forms of information to support a more general claim, idea or argument.
(3)Developing argument: constructs a coherent and convincing set of reasons for holding a
particular point of view.
(4)Critical evaluation: contains evaluative assertions or descriptive points about the value,
significance, strengths and/or weaknesses of elements referred to in the essay.
(5)Structuring: formal arrangement of the essay that supports the development of ideas within
the essay. Has clearly recognisable introductory and concluding paragraphs, and paragraphs in the
main body of the essay each have a clear, single concept or point as their main focus.
(6)Use of Language: adheres to conventions of written English (word choice, grammar,
punctuation and spelling) and is appropriate to the purpose and context.
(7)Referencing: correct and consistent referencing and full bibliography.
Question 1
Viewed through the lens of Foucault’s concept of biopower, debates about when ‘lockdowns’ should
be imposed or lifted in response to Covid-19 are essentially debates about the levels of severe illness
and death we as a society are prepared to tolerate. Discuss with an example drawn from subject
readings, lectures or tutorial discussions.
Question 2
Bonneuil and Fressoz demonstrate that the wealth enjoyed by first world countries today is the
direct result of human and environmental exploitation in the past (e.g., slavery, deforestation,
burning fossil fuels, etc). Discuss with an example drawn from subject readings, lectures or tutorial
discussions.
Question 3
According to Timothy Morton, ecological thinking today needs to grapple both with what has been
lost and the enduring toxic legacy of what has been produced. Discuss with an example drawn from
subject readings, lectures or tutorial discussions.
Question 4
Hall argues that because perception shapes reality it is therefore crucial to study the structures of
perception. Discuss with an example drawn from subject readings, lectures or tutorial discussions.
Question 5
According to David Harvey, in the 21st century time itself has become a commodity. Discuss with an
example drawn from subject readings, lectures or tutorial discussions.

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