This might seem like a ridiculously naive connection to make, but while I was reading Foucault's selection from Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, I couldn't help but think of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Having recently read the novel for my Contemporary American Literature class, its themes are still echoing through my head. The emasculation and infantilization of the male psychiatric patients by Nurse Ratched, portrayed brilliantly in the film version of the novel by Louise Fletcher, reminded me of Foucault's references to "technicians of behavior" at Mettray whose sole responsibility it was to take away the individuality of the children. Indeed, the most tragic scene in the novel is at the end, where McMurphy has been lobotomized and therefore robbed of his unique personality.
Another reference to popular culture appeared in my mind while reading the selection as well, and I thought of the film version of A Clockwork Orange. Alex's experience with the Ludovico technique while in prison, which destroys his free will, resonated with me. These "therapies" that have been socially accepted as "useful" for psychiatric patients and violent prisoners alike seem so similar to the techniques used at Mettray which Foucault described.