Panopticism

Topics: Prison, Jeremy Bentham, Michel Foucault Pages: 2 (790 words) Published: September 21, 2013
Panopticism
A historian, Michel Foucault, states his opinion on power and discipline. Panopticism means to view everything in one perspective. In similarly, many schools, industries, and business are under supervision but are still being watched. There are several ways to view a situation so let your brain explore. Foucault states that people should behave as if they are unaware of being watched; he describes how discipline, punishment, structure, control, power, and visibility will make today’s society much more productive.

Foucault begins with a description of measures to be taken against the plague, separation of space, and closing off houses but the goal behind this was to create a pure and discipline community. The plague stands as an image against which the idea of discipline was created. Someone might ask why the plague acted as an image against which the mechanisms of discipline were defined. It was not because the plague represents a loss of order or the restoration it was for the purpose of services such as the public execution. It was because when plague strikes, the boundaries of normal and abnormal are blurred (Foucault 285). In comparison, Jeremy Bentham organized the “Panopticon” which is a facility that represented discipline and punishment in the prison society. Panopticon was described as a spheroid building with an observation tower in the center of an open area surrounded by an outer wall. The outer wall had cells for the prisoners. It was design as a way to spy on every inmate in that facility. Since the prisoners are unaware that they are being watched, anyone had the power to view them as they pleased. Discipline and Punishment is a theory of the modern penal system. Foucault seeks to overview punishment and examines how changing power affects punishment. He started by looking at the situation before the eighteenth century when public execution and corporal punishment were key punishments. Discipline is described as a series of...
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