Sample Law Paper on Foucault and the Service Industry

The dichotomy of power and knowledge remains one of the fundamental elements that drive the
discourses on modern society. It is essential to consider the different strategies that have been
adopted in addressing the balance between power and the conceptualization of knowledge. The
issues surrounding the monopolization of knowledge and the link between these and the power
constructs in society highlights significant issues that define human social interactions. It is,
therefore, necessary that any interrogation of power and knowledge considers the potential
impact that such power has on the behavior of the individual in society. Every member of society
must understand the complicated balance that emerges on the discussion of power and
knowledge dynamics. Salient issues manifest in the attempts to exercise control of power and
dissemination of knowledge, and therefore, there is a need to explore the key features of this
balance. Discipline and regulation formulate the implementation of Foucault’s perspectives
because they define the relationships among different social groups, and they could have a varied
influence on the individual.
One of the main issues addressed by Foucault was the balance between discipline and regulation.
According to Hutchinson and O'Malley, the Foucaultian arguments centered on the influence that
regulation would have on the discipline that is presented by the individual or social group (70).
The emerging perception emphasized the significance of discipline and governance in the
process of gathering knowledge. Foucault also emphasizes this notion in one of his assertions on
the relevance of biopower, Foucault’s perception is captured by Pylypa who argues that the body
can be differentiated into the human species and the human body where one aspect focuses on
scientific interventions such as reproduction mortality and morbidity (23). In contrast, the other
element embraces elements of discipline on issues such as time, space and daily human practices
(Pylypa 23). These factors imply that biopower provides the perspective of two sources of
Additionally, the manifestation of political order is evidence of the influence of power in
determining key elements of the social groupings. According to Pylypa, the efficiency of
political order is exhibited by its ability to maintain control by establishing subjugations of the
bodies to represent the political agenda (22). The regulations established by the political order
aim to reproduce docile individuals who are productive yet passive in their political involvement.
As such, every institution is established to assert the control of the governments (Pylypa 23)
mentions schools, hospitals and prisons as the extensions of the control and regulation as set by
governments and other aspects of political order.
Notably, Foucault’s view of power highlights considerable aspects of human society that
are influential in determining the approaches to the balance between discipline and regulation.
Foucault argues that power should ideally be productive in increasing knowledge and desire
among the population (Pylypa 23). He establishes the relationship between power and
knowledge, where both elements are dependent on each other. He notes that power cannot exist
without knowledge, and knowledge should always aim to highlight the power relations that exist

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in the given society (Pylypa 23). It is, therefore, necessary that any evaluation of Foucault’s
views considers the ultimate balance that ought to exist between discipline and regulation.
Application of Foucault’s Perspectives
Viable principles of human resource management guide the service industry. Every discourse of
the service industry must consider the salient elements that dictate the interactions between the
servers and patrons of different hotels and restaurants that form the backbone of the service
industry. Studies by Townley posit that the goal-oriented nature of the service industry remains
integral in the selection process of all employees (518). As such, the selection, appraisal,
training, and development of all servers in the service industry is guided by different principles
of human resource management. Townley underlines that the output of the labor force in the
service industry is embedded in the efficiency of these processes towards boosting the relevance
of human resources in the service industry (518). Therefore, the leader of the human resource
department in every hotel or restaurant in the industry must establish controls that will enhance
the discipline of the servers.
Additionally, the concept of power/knowledge presents the aspects of governmentality,
which influences the treatment of different players in the service industry. According to
Townley, the actions of all servers in the hotel business must meet given standards that are
integral in defining their output and boosting the outcomes of their assessments (521).
Governmentality establishes a form of observational control that contributes to the behavior of
the servers in the service industry (Hodgson 45). Foucault empathizes the significance of the
gaze as an integral feature that addresses the aspects of governmentality in the sector (Townley
524). For instance, issues such as self-regulation and surveillance are essential elements that
influence the perception of the servers hence the need to act in specific ways towards the patrons.
The role of the server is to serve the patron and meet their demands. There is an element of
discipline and regulation in the ensuing relationship between these two individuals. Foucault’s
theory, therefore, cements the notions of role-specific tags in society.
Power knowledge dynamics also define the role of the customer. One of the major
arguments in the service industry is that the customer is always right (Hodgson 33). While this
notion could be challenged in various ways, it remains an element that has defined the power
dynamics between servers and customers in the service industry. Issues of regulation adherence
have limited the place of the server in guiding the customer regardless of the depths of
knowledge that the server has on any concern. Foucault emphasizes the significance of the
functionalist perspective that distinguishes the server from the client (Townley 519). The server,
therefore, plays at one end of the argument where the client is always right, regardless of the
contextual factors involved. In a way, Foucault argues that the service industry bestows more
power on the customer compared to the server (Pylypa 28). Every server must, therefore,
appreciate the power relations that influence the service industry.
Knowledge is built on the premise of scientific understanding, accepted knowledge, and the
valuation of truth. The designation of different social groups highlights the implication of power
as an extract of knowledge. The consideration of some as servers and patrons is reliant on the
amount of knowledge that each group possesses. Power, therefore, follows the centralized
system where it seeps from a higher hierarchy towards the lower levels of stratification. The
government’s controlling roles are effected through different institutions.

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Works Cited

Hodgson, Damian E. "Discourse, Discipline and the Subject: A Foucauldian Analysis of the UK
Financial Services Industry." (2017).
Hutchinson, Steven, and Pat O'Malley. "Discipline and Governmentality." The Handbook of
Social Control (2018): 63-75.
Pylypa, Jen. "Power and Bodily Practice: Applying the Work of Foucault to an Anthropology of
the Body." Arizona Anthropologist, vol. 13, 1998, pp. 21-36.
Townley, Barbara. "Foucault, Power/Knowledge, and its Relevance for Human Resource
Management." Academy of Management