Panopticism: Foucault's Discipline And

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This essay is a summary about the idea and application of Panopticism, and its many implementations. Firstly, I will be explaining the concept of Panopticism. Next, I will dissect a few of the reoccurring arguments in the third chapter of Foucault 's Discipline & Punish. Finally, I will be dissecting some modern examples of Panopticism. Foucault 's chapter of Panopticism focuses primarily on the power adjustments implemented when a society works in a Panopticonistic way. The author writes that “Panopticism is the discipline-mechanism: a functional mechanism that must improve the exercise of power by making it lighter, more rapid, more effective, a design of subtle coercion for a society to come” (Foucault 14). This…show more content…
The disciple-blockade is a societal structure that does anything it can to prevent and detain disorder. At the complete other end of the disciplinary spectrum, a discipline-mechanism is based on functionality and effectiveness, with Panopticism at its base. The concept of the discipline-mechanism is confusing because the discipline-mechanism is based off of Panopticism and yet Panopticism is a discipline-mechanism. The author moves on to delve into the definition of the discipline- mechanism, saying that it improves the exercises of power by being functional, effective, rapid, and that it is “a design of subtle coercion to come”. Foucault is saying that a discipline- mechanism, and therefore Panopticism, has no goals of enhancing the distribution of power via extravagance or luxury. A discipline-mechanism has only one goal in mind: to make the use and retention of power more orderly and productive for those who hold it, and to appear to do the same for those who don 't without informing them of their actual imprisoned and restricted situation. By mentioning that a discipline-mechanism is “a design of subtle…show more content…
What the author means when he refers to visibility is that the prisoner must know that he is a prisoner, and that he is not fully in control over himself. The prisoner must know that there is some sort of higher power in the guard tower, and he must know that this 'higher power ' might be watching him at any point, which leads me into discussing the 'unverifiable ' aspect. The unverifiable presence of the guard, or higher power, leads a prisoner to believe that he may be watched, judged, and corrected at any location in time. From the 'visible ' aspect, the prisoner knows that there is some form of a more powerful presence monitoring him, and that it could descend to deliver justice at any point if the prisoner is up to any wrong-doing. He does not know who this greater presence is, and he does not know how the presence will deliver justice, whether in a docile or hostile form. Lastly, the prisoner will not know if this more powerful existence is watching him constantly or only some of the time. Being human, and in being detained, the prisoner will not hesitate to assume that the being watching him is eternally observing him, because it is

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