Panopticism - Professor Scheiwe Art and Craft of Writing 21...

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Professor Scheiwe Art and Craft of Writing 21 November 2009 Panopticism: The 50’s and Now Michel Foucault’s theory of Panopticism is widely applicable, and has been present in just about every aspect of society since the creation of law. Those in power have the benefit of knowledge and easy access to information, and so are better able to influence, control and conform those beneath them in subtle and often unnoticeable ways. In modern society this is most often accomplished through the judicial system, and systems of control can be found in the entertainment industry, domestic/foreign policy and law enforcement. The ‘panopticon’ grew drastically in the 1950’s after an influx of anti-communist bravado, and with each period of social strife – most recently the turmoil created by the terrorist attacks on September 11 th , 2001 – continues to expand it’s influence over modern society. The first of the areas to be noted is that of political correctness (PC), and the federal government’s continuous efforts to display social norms through PC. Most noticeably within the entertainment industry, we see the government trying to reign in abnormalities/indecencies in programming. In the 1950’s, there was a limited selection of channels and programs to be watched and most of it was safe, sound and inoffensive programming. For example, if there was a scene in which married couples were getting into bed, they had to be depicted as sleeping separately. As the years rolled on,
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Stein during the Fall '08 term at Adelphi.

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Panopticism - Professor Scheiwe Art and Craft of Writing 21...

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