An essay on foucaults panopticism

Throughout his book, he tries to make sense how our society is structured and talks about the contemporary issues affecting the society.

An essay on foucaults panopticism

It is for them alone to point what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we should do" Bentham par. Applying this principle to crime, we could say that one would not commit an offence likely to mean one suffered more pain for committing the act, than the possible pleasure one might derive from it.

Do communists find any validity in Foucault's idea of panopticism? : communism

To secure desirable behaviour, and to deter undesirable, society might respond to this theory by imposing the most stringent set of laws and punishments possible. But this would not be a Benthamite solution.

The object of legislation, according to Bentham, should be to secure the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people. The pain of punishment should, therefore, be proportional to the happiness that it secured. As a part of his vision of rational social control, Bentham devised an architectural device he called the Panopticon, which is Greek for "all-seeing".

The Panopticon was a universal institution based on the design for a Russian factory that minimised the number of supervisors required, and proposed by Bentham for the design of prisons, workhouses, mental asylums and schools. He, himself, attempted to construct a prison to this design at Millbank in London The underlying principle of Panopticon order is the total and constant surveillance of inmates, workers, patients or pupils.

But Bentham believed this approach could be successfully adopted in any environment which involved some level of supervision. Bentham's design had a central watch tower encased in glass and furnished with wooden blinds, which would be surrounded by a series of cells or rooms.

The idea was that the guard or overseer in the watch tower would be able to monitor the every movement of the inhabitants of the cells, all of the time, hence the 'all-seeing'. A key to the effectiveness of the system is uncertainty. The design ensures that the people watched cannot see their observers.

They have no way to find out if they are being watched at any given time, but they know that it is the constant possibility. They have no area of privacy. Even if no one is watching, they do not know it. The psychological objective of such a system was that the subjects of surveillance would believe that their only logical option was to conform.

Thus each individual would become their own overseer. The external illusion of an all-seeing eye would become an inner reality of self-policing. If we link this to the 'pleasure-pain' principle, we see that the pain has become, to a large extent, self-generated. The subject suffers a torment of anxiety that his or her crime will be seen.

Non-conformity means inner pain, there is no profit to be gained from deviancy, and the path of pleasure is the psychological security of knowing that you have done nothing censurable. We see here the difference between the utilitarian theory of human behaviour, dominant in Britain and America, and the continental theories of RousseauKantHegel and Durkheim that are the main alternative to utilitarian theory in European culture.

An essay on foucaults panopticism

The basis of the theories deriving from Rousseau is that human beings have a will to act in the interest of society: In fact, more than individual selfish will, because it is the general will within us that makes us human.

If the general will within us was not the stronger, Hegel argued, we would require a policeman on every corner. The Benthamite scheme highlights the truth of Hegel's criticism, by requiring the police officer to be stationed in every mind. Foucault Michel Foucault has taken Bentham's panopiticon is an "ideal" or "architectural figure" of power in modern society.

He argues that it is not just a model for institutions, but something whose principles are the principles of power in society at large: Bentham presents it as a particular institution, closed in upon itself CCTV Bentham believed that the principles of the Panopticon could be applied within any sphere requiring some level of regulation, and, consciously or not, we find the principles in modern day forms of surveillance, such as closed circuit television CCTV cameras.Dec 30,  · Foucault’s Theory of Disciplinary Power: This is a theory about discipline as a mechanism of power, which regulates the behavior of individuals in the society.

For Foucault disciplinary power is the type of power which can be applied over people . Panopticism is the heart of the book Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault.

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Throughout his book, he tries to make sense how our society is structured and talks . The ideas of Michel Foucault are an obvious point of reference for social researchers studying schools. In Discipline and Punish, Foucault explicitly analyses schooling as an apparatus of modern disciplinary it is easy to draw parallels between his well-known account of the Panopticon and the ways in which surveillance works in educational institutions.

Michel Foucault (– ) is the most cited researcher across all was a French philosopher who called his project a Critical History of , has been providing free access to a large selection of Foucault’s texts, including the full transcript of the then unpublished seminar Discourse and Truth.

Panopticism: "a society in which individuals are increasingly caught up in systems of power in and through which visibility is a key means of social control" - Elliott, A panoptic society is one whereby social norms and expectations become internalised through top-down processes.

Michel Foucault’s Panopticism shows that society is under surveillance. The panopticon represents the way in which discipline and punishment work in modern society, where it shows how the processes of observation and examination function.

Bradley Andersen: Summary of Foucault's "Panopticism"