The Examination (aka The Game)

Foucault again, discussing the disciplinary mechanism of the examination:

The examination combines the techniques of an observing hierarchy and those of a normalizing judgement. It is a normalizing gaze, a surveillance that makes it possible to qualify, to classify and to punish. It establishes over individuals a visibility through which one differentiates them and judges them. That is why, in all the mechanisms of discipline, the examination is highly ritualized. In it are combined the ceremony of power and the form of the experiment, the deployment of force and the establishment of truth (Discipline and Punish, p.184).

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  1. Jacqueline Torti says:

    This article on "The Game" can be intrepreted by a multitude of perspectives. With reagard to academics, it can depict a final examination or any course evaluation for that matter. The observing heirachy in this case would be the professor and normalizing judgement would represent the correct responses. These answer keys make it possibe to qualify, judge or punish, in otherwirds assign a grade that is either a pass of fail. By establishing a normalized gaze (the test), the person in power is then able to quantitfy and differeniate individuals based on the grade they achieve. This then allows for the rationalization of standardized testing throughout the academic system. The professor and his/her examination allows for the employment of force and the establishment of truth. But is this really persay the "truth". Can you really justify normalizing judgement if it is not based on a continuum. The normalized judgement provides those in power with an opportunity to determine whether a response is right or wrong. Knowing this, who or what is at the top of the heirarchy structure to determine whether or not this normalized judgement is right or wrong and say it should be inforced by those in power. What if one qualifies responses that deviate from the norm? They are seen as incorrect, when they may infact have value. If the normailized judgement was based on a continuum this would allow for the variation of individual interpretation. For example, an asnwer key states that "rest" is the correct response. Others may interprete and provide the answer as being sleep, hybernate, nap, or to replenish energy. If a continuum was introduced, those in power could rationalized responses, allowing for indivual variance in interpretation. I feel that this would be a far better representation of one's knowledge.