Do Student Loans Produce Docile Bodies?


Foucault discusses a change in the method of discipline as “Discipline is no longer simply an art of distributing bodies, of extracting time from them and accumulating it, but of composing forces in order to obtain an efficient machine” (Foucault, 1979, p. 164). This theory can be applied to the mass debt that students acquire through their student loans. As students who have student loans of upwards $20,000, spend the rest of their lives working hard to pay of this debt to the government. With this, we can theorise that the government is using Student Loans as a form of discipline to create more hard working, docile bodies, which they then benefit from as these bodies are subjected to the debt they owe and work hard to pay this off. The government is also benefiting through this form of discipline as these docile bodies are also educated as they have tertiary qualifications.

Breakfast. (2015, 08 13). Are Kiwis putting off settling down because of Student Loan. New Zealand: Television New Zealand Limited.

Foucault, M. (1979). The Composition of Forces. In M. Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (p. 164). New York: Vintage Books.


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