"It is in discourse that power and knowledge are joined together. And for this very reason, we must conceive discourse as a series of discontinuous segments whose tactical function is neither uniform nor stable. To be more precise, we must not imagine a world of discourse divided between accepted discourse and excluded discourse, or between the dominant discourse and the dominated one, but as a multiplicity of discursive elements that can come into play in various strategies. ... We must make allowance for the complex and unstable process whereby discourse can be both an instrument and an effect of power, but also a hindrance, a stumbling block, a point of resistance and a starting point for an opposed strategy." Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, pp 100-101) 

In proposing to examine the general economy of discourses on sex, Michel Foucault states his objective of defining "the regime of power - knowledge - pleasure that sustains the discourse on human sexuality in our part of the world." (p.11) For Foucault, "the 'economy' of discourses -- their intrinsic technology, the necessities of their operation, the tactics they emply, the effects of power which underlie them and which they transmit -- this, and not a system of representations, is what determines the essential features of what they have to say." (p.69) 

In Discipline and Punish, Foucault describes the modern "soul" as the real correlative of a certain technology of power over the body. "On this reality reference, various concepts have been constructed and domains of analysis carved out: psyche, subjectivity, personality, consciousness, etc; on it have been built scientific techniques and discourses, and the moral claims of humanism." (p.30)
(see subject )