Summary of Panopticism by Michel Foucault.docx - Summary of...

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Summary of Panopticism by Michel Foucault In the beginning Foucault describes the measures that have to be taken against the plague in the seventeenths century: closing off houses, partitioning of space; registration and constant inspection. There are processes of quarantine and cleaning. Plague occurs on orders. Lepers ware also separated from society, but the goal was to create a clean or pure community. Measures of the plague are aimed at a disciplined community. The plague is the image against which the idea of discipline was created. The existence of a whole set of methods and institutions for measuring and controlling abnormal beings triggers disciplinary mechanisms created because of fear of plague. From this all modern mechanisms of struggle against abnormal people follow. Then Foucault discusses Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, a building with a tower in the center, from which one can see every cell in which a prisoner or schoolboy is imprisoned. Visibility is a trap. Everyone is visible but cannot communicate with other prisoners or warders. The Panopticon evokes a sense of constant visibility, which ensures the functioning of power. Bentham decided that the authorities should be visible, but not verifiable. A prisoner can always see the tower, but never knows where he is being observed. Panopticon allows you to perform the work of a naturalist: compiling tables and taxonomies. It is also a power laboratory in which experiments are conducted with prisoners and staff. The city affected by the plague, and the panoptic are the transformations of the disciplinary program. The first case is an exceptional situation when the authorities mobilize against an extraordinary evil. The second is a generalized model of human functioning, a way of defining power relations in everyday life. The Panoptic was destined to spread throughout the society. This makes power more economical and efficient for the development of the economy, the spread of education and the improvement of public morality, and not for the salvation of society. It represents the subordination of bodies, which increases the usefulness of power, without requiring the prince. Bentham develops the idea that disciplines can be scattered throughout society and gives a formula for the functioning of society, which penetrates into disciplinary mechanisms. There are two ways of discipline: one - blockade of discipline - an exclusive closed space on the edge of society; and two - discipline-mechanism - a functional mechanism that ensures the work of power more effectively. In Panopticism Foucault attacks the identification of power with the state and the law, and he offers a much more distributed notion of power as something which permeates all aspects of life, including the most intimate. In addition, power for Foucault is not oppressive, but rather productive: it does not stop you from doing things as much as it causes you to do things. One thing that power and discipline produce for example is the individual which is a subject with

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