Summary_2_Foucault

Summary_2_Foucault - Samir Patel 1 SOC_169_W11 Summary 2...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Samir Patel SOC_169_W11 1 Summary 2 – Foucault Summary Along with other social theorists, Michel Foucault believed that knowledge is always an essential form of power. One of the techniques/regulatory modes of power/knowledge that Foucault refered to was the Panopticon. He borrows the panoptic prison model from Englishman Jeremy Bentham whose model is a circular formation where cells are situated around a central tower which has the potential to see every prisoner. All cells face inward and prisoners are able to see only the tower, unable to communicate with or see other inmates. Most importantly, the prisoners can tell if they are being observed because the tower is designed with Venetian blinds, enabling guards to look out but no one to look in (Foucault pg. 393). Michael Foucault’s “panopticon” represents the way in which discipline and punishment work in society. The first stage of punishment is characterized by violence that is generally orchestrated among the general population by authority (Foucault 393). While the first phase of punishment is based on the centralization of powers within a specific social institution, the second phase witnesses the centralization of powers in surveillance and disciplinary practices. The previous stage is intensified in the third and final phase of punishment where Foucault describes creating “disciplinary individuals.” Where no longer are the social structures necessary for exercising power and punishment. The Panopticon was a metaphor that allowed Foucault to explore the relationship between systems of social control and people in a disciplinary situation, and the power-knowledge concept, since, in his views, power and knowledge comes from observing others.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Samir Patel SOC_169_W11 2 Outline Foucault adopted two distinct methodologies o Archaeology o Genealogy Foucault believes “power is knowledge”, arguing that knowledge is a specific means for exercising power. Three phases of punishment: o Corporal practices o Surveillance/discipline o Panopticon As knowledge grows, “the techniques of discipline and surveillance multiply, such that power takes on an ever-increasing number of forms and circulates throughout society everywhere without originating in any single location or source (Foucault pg. 395).” “Power is not so much structure (collectivist) or unstructured (individualistic) as it is de- structured (Foucault pg. 396).” Foucault’s approach to power: o Transcends politics and sees power as an everyday, socialized and embodied phenomenon
Background image of page 2
Samir Patel SOC_169_W11 3 “The Panopticon is a marvelous machine which, whatever use one may wish to put it to, produces homogenous effects of power.” (Foucault pg. 404) Thoughts Foucault argues that more sophisticated societies offer greater opportunities for control and observation. This explains the reference to liberty and rights. Foucault assumes that modern society is based on the idea that all citizens are free and entitled to make certain demands on the
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 10/23/2011 for the course SOC 169 taught by Professor Maryan during the Spring '10 term at UC Riverside.

Page1 / 9

Summary_2_Foucault - Samir Patel 1 SOC_169_W11 Summary 2...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online