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Michel Foucault’s Essay, Panopticism”,Panopticon And The Society

1156 words - 5 pages

Michel Foucault’s essay, “Panopticism”, links to the idea of “policing yourself” or many call it panopticon. The panopticon is a prison which is shaped like a circle with a watchtower in the middle. The main purpose of the panopticon was to monitor a large group of prisoners with only few guards in the key spot. From that key spot, whatever the prisoners do they can be monitored, and they would be constantly watched from the key spot inside the tower. The arrangement of panopticon is done in excellent manner that the tower’s wide windows, which opened to the outside and kept every cell in 360-degree view. The cells were designed so it makes impossible for the prisoners to glances towards ...view middle of the document...

The psychology of the panopticon was that the prisoners would never be certain whether or not he or she is under the watchful eyes of a guard, behave as the guards wants them to behave and because of this psychology it insures discipline inside the cells. We see Foucault making the same point in his essay when he says, “Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power” (Foucault 288). According to Foucault the effect of the panopticon in the penal system or prisons dramatically changed by the psychological way of punishment, resulting in no physics punishment. This connects to what I said earlier that Panopticon functions to better society because the psychological way of punishment which is the panopticon, stops people from doing wrong things and which makes the society a better place. We need panopticon in our modern society to insure discipline. I have experienced myself how the panopticon works to better society.
I have experienced and seen how the panopticon works to better society for example, let’s I was driving 65 mph on 55 mph, 10 mph faster than speed limit and I see a device that check your car speed and display’s how fast you were going. Just because I see a speed checker coming up I will atomically slow down because I think that a police might be monitoring how fast I was driving. Even if there were no one checking my speed I would still slow down. Or consider other example, we see cameras on the traffic lights, just because there is camera on a traffic light you will stop from breaking a traffic rules. In reality most of the camera might not be working. These examples show how our society has panopticon, because in panopticon there is surveillance and our society also has surveillance. More importantly these examples demonstrate that our society needs panopticon to insure discipline. If we did not have panopticon in our society I would have been drive faster than the normal speed limit, brake traffic rules and might have cause accident. Panopticon functions to better society have been apparent throughout “Fight Club”.
Fight Club, a novel by Chuck Palahniuk and later a film of the same title. The Unnamed narrator played by Edward Norton. During a...

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