panopticism - Foucault begins his story by describing the...

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Foucault begins his story by describing the seventeenth century plaque. He tells how houses were closed off, there was separation, inspection, and how things were quarantined. From this, concepts of power and discipline were created. Since that time, many things have derived from those concepts. Jeremy Bentham’s panopticism is then described as being a form of prison, which he believed had ideal conditions for an institution. The setup was said to be a watching tower, surrounded by cells where prisoners or patients were kept. The tower could watch any cell in the building, yet never revealed to any prisoner who was being watched at any specific time. This structure allows for the guards to have power over the inmates along with the keeping the inmates inferior creating a system of discipline.
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Unformatted text preview: Today, much of society is focused around this concept and because of its success it is accepted still as an effective system. Places such as hospitals, schools, factories, etc. all utilize this concept in certain ways. All these institutions constantly have students, patients, and workers being observed just as the inmates were. This again creates some fear in the people from the authorities, making them more disciplined. Foucault’s writing hits on many topics that we have already discussed, such as the attempt to create abnormal people into the “norm” when he refers to the prisons, and institutions etc. Also, the “authorities” and power holders in this panopticism system can describe someone like the Big Nurse in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest ....
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  • Spring '08
  • Jordan
  • Sociology, Panopticon, seventeenth century plaque

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