Topics: Prison, Michel Foucault, Panopticon Pages: 4 (1398 words) Published: May 9, 2013
Question 1- Panopticism
In regards to Panopticism, Michel Foucault theorizes, “The exile of the leper and the arrest of the plague do not bring with them the same political dream.” I conclude that the term, “political dream”, is an idea where people use power and knowledge in an attempt to achieve a perfectly governed society. Gradually, social reforms transformed how the political dream was viewed. Over the past few hundred years, techniques for social reform have improved, leading up to where we are today.

In the 17th century, due to the epidemic of the disease known as the Plague, the technique used to strive for the political dream was to keep those who were infected under control by dividing the town into quarters. Each quarter was governed by an intendant, and a syndic who keeps the quarters under surveillance. The inhabitants were ordered to stay indoors, and leaving would result in pain of death. The inhabitants that were infected by the plague were locked inside their house by a guard, or syndic, who had possession of the key. The inhibitants that were infected with the plague were prisoners in their homes. Inspections were done on a regular basis, where the syndic would go to the street that he was responsible for, and would demand the inhabitants to show their face at the window when their names were called. The snydic would keep track of the inhabitants and their condition. The intendant, on a daily basis, observed whether or not the syndic had completed his job. The surveillance in the 17th century was based on confining the inhabitants, and the reports from the syndic, to the intendant, to the magistrates. The document, which includes the inhabitants name, sex, and condition, is copied and given to the intendant and the town hall. The magistrates have total control over the medical treatment of the inhabitants. Discipline was the prime source of power during the plague. According to Foucault, the political dream of the plague consisted of...
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