Foucault panopticon essay

Similar structures[ edit ] Bentham always conceived the Panopticon principle as being beneficial to the design of a variety of institutions in which surveillance was important, including hospitals, schools, workhouses, and lunatic asylums, as well as prisons. In particular, he developed it in his ideas for a " chrestomathic " school one devoted to useful learningin which teaching was to be undertaken by senior pupils on the monitorial principleunder the overall supervision of the Master; [36] and for a pauper "industry-house" workhouse. It burned down in

Foucault panopticon essay

He also realized that as individuals, we react to situations in different ways. His used his books as a vehicle to show the various factors that interact and collide in his analyzation of change and its effects.

As a philosophical historian and an observer of human relations, his work focused on the dominant genealogical and archaeological knowledge systems and practices, tracking them through different historical eras, including the social contexts that were in place that permitted change - the nature of power in society.

He wrote that power "reaches into the very grain of individuals, touches their bodies and inserts itself into their actions and attitudes, their discourses, learning processes and everyday lives" FoucaultAlong with other social theorists, Foucault believed that knowledge is always a form of power, but he took it a step further and told us that knowledge can be gained from power; producing it, not preventing it.

Through observation, new knowledge is produced.

Foucault panopticon essay

In his view, knowledge is forever connected to power, and often wrote them in this way: Foucault's theory states that knowledge is power: Knowledge linked to power, not only assumes the authority of 'the truth' but has the power to make itself true.

All knowledge, once applied in the real world, has effects, and in that sense at least, 'becomes true. Thus, 'there is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time, power relations FoucaultFor him, power exists everywhere and comes from everywhere; it was a key concept because it acts as a type of relation between people, a complex form of strategy, with the ability to secretly shape another's behaviour.

Foucault did not view the effects of power negatively. For him, power didn't exclude, repress, censor, mask, and conceal. Foucault saw it as a producer of reality: The importance for him always lay in the effect that power has on entire networks, practices, the world around us, and how our behaviour can be affected, not power itself.

Instead of using violent methods, such as torture, and placing prisoners in dungeons that were used for centuries in monarchial states around the world, the progressive modern democratic state needed a different sort of system to regulate its citizens. The Panopticon offered a powerful and sophisticated internalized coercion, which was achieved through the constant observation of prisoners, each separated from the other, allowing no interaction, no communication.

This modern structure would allow guards to continually see inside each cell from their vantage point in a high central tower, unseen by the prisoners. Constant observation acted as a control mechanism; a consciousness of constant surveillance is internalized.

Foucault's Panopticon The Panopticon was a metaphor that allowed Foucault to explore the relationship between 1. In his view, power and knowledge comes from observing others. It marked the transition to a disciplinary power, with every movement supervised and all events recorded.

The result of this surveillance is acceptance of regulations and docility - a normalization of sorts, stemming from the threat of discipline. Suitable behaviour is achieved not through total surveillance, but by panoptic discipline and inducing a population to conform by the internalization of this reality.

The actions of the observer are based upon this monitoring and the behaviours he sees exhibited; the more one observes, the more powerful one becomes.

The power comes from the knowledge the observer has accumulated from his observations of actions in a circular fashion, with knowledge and power reinforcing each other. Foucault says that "by being combined and generalized, they attained a level at which the formation of knowledge and the increase in power regularly reinforce one another in a circular process" Foucault For Foucault, the real danger was not necessarily that individuals are repressed by the social order but that they are "carefully fabricated in it" Foucault,and because there is a penetration of power into the behaviour of individuals.

Power becomes more efficient through the mechanisms of observation, with knowledge following suit, always in search of "new objects of knowledge over all the surfaces on which power is exercised" Foucault When only certain people or groups of people control knowledge, oppression is a possibility.

We need to find out who is recording our actions. At least then we will know who has power and who doesn't. But what happens to all the knowledge that is collected through mechanisms of power?

SparkNotes: Discipline and Punish: Panopticism

Isn't that the most important question? Foucault painted us a picture but left it up to us to create a process for resistance, and to figure out how to resolve conflicts ourselves. He gave us instruments of analysis, but offered no weapons.

Where can we draw the line between security and freedom, especially when modern surveillance technology is increasingly used in urban public spaces to control or modify behaviour, tracking people who aren't incarcerated, but mobile and innocently going about their business?

Who determines what our rights are? Can we make the rules together? Can we mobilize counter-power to form a resistance against the pervasiveness of an increasingly intrusive electronic society that is trying to manage the information it is tracking and collecting?

Can we wage our own battles and develop some strategies to help us retain a semblance of individual anonymity and privacy? Or should we just surrender to it?Panopticism is a social theory named after the Panopticon, originally developed by French philosopher Michel Foucault in his book Discipline and Punish.

The "panopticon" refers to an experimental laboratory of power in which behaviour could be modified, and Foucault viewed the panopticon as a symbol of the disciplinary society of surveillance.

A summary of Panopticism in Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Discipline and Punish and what it means.

Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. In his essay Panopticism Michel Foucault is asserting that the structure of the Panopticon demonstrates the distribution of power in our society.

The Panopticon is a design for a prison; its layout is a large circular room and along the edge of the room are individual cells where the prisoners are housed.

Nov 09,  · Panopticism. Essay 5 rough draft You have a very good summary and understanding of Foucault and the Panopticon. Make your essay flow better with transitions and a variety of different sentence structures other than just simple sentences.

Great start!

Foucault panopticon essay

Reply. Foucault proposes that not only prisons but all hierarchical structures like the army, schools, hospitals and factories have evolved through history to resemble Bentham's Panopticon. The notoriety of the design today (although not its lasting influence in architectural realities) stems from Foucault's famous analysis of it.

Below is an essay on "Panopticism" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples Comparative Analysis Essay of the relationship between “Panopticism” by Michel Foucault and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

SparkNotes: Discipline and Punish: Panopticism