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Americank Model Of Society: The Observation And Control Of Individuals

1210 words - 5 pages

American society, as any other organized society in the world faces the consequences of Panopticism as a political technology at which the system look for solitude, confinement, rehabilitation, custody, labor and instruction of society “to induce in the people a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power.”(Foucault 288)
The functioning of power fosters the perfection of society through the observation and control of individuals by characterizing and classifying individual´s behaviors. According to the deepness of the surveillance of the American Model of society, there are four levels of observation/surveillance:
a) Behavioral Surveillance: As if United States of America were a lab, in some states and even at the federal level, government passes laws to test the response of society toward those laws; therefore, government will have an idea of how receptive or aloof society is in certain issues. Government will also be able to classify the behavior of different groups who are members of a single society. In 1965, Massachusetts had passed into law the Racial Imbalance Act, which ordered school districts to desegregate; otherwise, educational funding would be lost. It was the first law of its kind in the nation; it was opposed by many in Boston, especially white ethnic areas, such as the Irish-American district of South Boston. Boston Busing Crisis, was one those situations at which laws passes as experiments to test how receptive people would be in such volatile situation as segregation was during the second half of the twentieth century.
b) Organizational Surveillance: This level of observation could be both effective and dumb because it creates arbitrary control on easy matters as parking. Parking in Boston represents a difficulty, plus as in many other major cities there are streets with signs that limit parking time. This limitation is contradictory because under United States´ law there is freedom of movement and circulation; this right is contained in the “Privileges and Immunities Clause” of the United State of America Constitution; nevertheless, public spaces are continuously restricted, limited and controlled by officers who check the parking time to make sure that everyone is fulfilling the not agreed agreement of 2-hour parking. This level of observation also supports the definition of Panopticism at which Panopticism is identify as a function which means that for each variable (Parking time) there is just one output: if the car has been parked for less than two hours: No Ticket; if the car has been parked for more than two hours: Ticket. There is not possibility to get both or get neither at any level of surveillance.
c) Oppressive Surveillance: Filming employees at work may violate their right to privacy. Cameras settled in public or private workplaces control worker´s development while they are on duty, but it also spy on workers natural behavior and opinion about related but...

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