A discussion of power and discipline in the essay of panopticism michel foucault

Tuesday, November 21, Summary: Panopticism by Foucault This summary runs the length of Foucault's chapter on "Panopticism", if you want the short simple way try Foucault's panopticism explained "Panopticism" is a chapter in Michel's Foucault's book "Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison"

A discussion of power and discipline in the essay of panopticism michel foucault

Panopticism Summary Foucault begins with a description of measures to be taken against the plague in the seventeenth century: Processes of quarantine and purification operate. The plague is met by order. Lepers were also separated from society, but the aim behind this was to create a pure community.

The plague measures aim at a disciplined community. The plague stands as an image against which the idea of discipline was created. The existence of a whole set of techniques and institutions for measuring and supervising abnormal beings brings into play the disciplinary mechanisms created by the fear of the plague.

All modern mechanisms for controlling abnormal individuals derive from these. Foucault then discusses Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, a building with a tower at the center from which it is possible to see each cell in which a prisoner or schoolboy is incarcerated.

SparkNotes: Discipline and Punish: Complete and Austere Institutions, page 2

Visibility is a trap. Each individual is seen but cannot communicate with the warders or other prisoners. The crowd is abolished. The panopticon induces a sense of permanent visibility that ensures the functioning of power.

Bentham decreed that power should be visible yet unverifiable. The prisoner can always see the tower but never knows from where he is being observed.

The possibility that the panopticon is based on the royal menagerie at Versailles is raised. The Panopticon allows on to do the work of a naturalist: It is also a laboratory of power, in which experiments are carried out on prisoners and staff.

A discussion of power and discipline in the essay of panopticism michel foucault

The plague-stricken town and the panopticon represent transformations of the disciplinary programme. The first case is an exceptional situation, where power is mobilized against an extraordinary evil.

The second is a generalized model of human functioning, a way of defining power relations in everyday life. The Panopticon is not a dream building, but a diagram of power reduced to its ideal form.

It perfects the operations of power by increasing the number of people who can be controlled, and decreasing the number needed to operate it. It gives power over people's minds through architecture. As it can be inspected from outside, there is no danger of tyranny.

The panopticon was destined to spread throughout society. It makes power more economic and effective. It does this to develop the economy, spread education and improve public morality, not to save society. The panopticon represents the subordination of bodies that increases the utility of power while dispensing with the need for a prince.

Bentham develops the idea that disciplines could be dispersed throughout society. He provides a formula for the functioning of a society that is penetrated by disciplinary mechanisms. There are two images of discipline: The move from one to the other represents the formation in the seventeenth and eighteenth century of a disciplinary society.

Cultural Reader: Summary: Panopticism by Foucault

Other increasingly profound processes operated: We can talk of the formation of a disciplinary society in the movement from enclosed disciplines to an infinitely extendible "panopticism". The formation of a disciplinary society is connected to several historical processes: These tactics aim to increase the docility and utility of all elements of the system.

This corresponds to a population increase, and a rise in the numbers to be supervised.Nov 12,  · "Panopticism" is a chapter in Michel's Foucault's book "Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison" ().

The book examines developments in Western penal systems and the formulation of contemporary prisons. 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. Panopticism by Michel Foucault is a French philosophical essay that explores the themes of power and discipline and how it was manipulated in the seventeenth century and how it affected society over time.

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.

Jun 25,  · In his essay “Panopticism,” Michel Foucault introduces the Panopticon structure as proof of modern society tending toward efficient disciplinary mechanisms.

Michel Foucault, Beyond the repressive hypothesis: Power as power/knowledge Foucault never attempts any (impossible) definition of power. At best, he gives a definition of power relations in an essay published in ‘The exercise of power is not simply a relationship between partners, individual or collective; it is a way in which.

Panopticism - Wikipedia