Do We Now Live in a ‘Panoptic’ Society? Discuss Through the Ideas of Michel Foucault.

In: Social Issues

Submitted By denisewalsh
Words 2282
Pages 10
Do we now live in a ‘panoptic’ society? Discuss through the ideas of Michel Foucault.
This essay will examine French social theorist Michel Foucault’s (1926-1984), concept of Panopticism. It will give an example of the way it can be observed, through contemporary society. Firstly, it will cover a general aspect of Foucault’s work, regarding his historical method and his understanding of madness, power, knowledge and the body. It will discuss the idea of the Panopticon and how it shaped the idea of discipline and power. Furthermore, it will examine one element of Foucault’s theory, and how it could be applied in contemporary society, through the subject of security in public places.
Foucault’s 1964 work Madness and Civilisation, studied the evolution of madness from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, showing the evolving change of how madness was perceived over time in society. During the time of the Renaissance, Foucault found that people who were ‘mad’ were seen as liberated (Foucault 1967). However, the classical age in the seventeenth century created ‘enormous houses of confinement’ which reduced madness to silence (Foucault 1967:35). The mid seventeenth century saw madness associated with confinement. These institutions housed people who were poor, unemployed, prisoners and insane. In 1656, the ‘Hôpital Général’ was founded in Paris and could be seen from the start, that it was not a ‘medical establishment’, but rather a sort of ‘semi-judicial structure’ (Foucault 1967:37). It had absolute power and control over its occupants, and anyone that was considered ‘undesirable’ in society were confined, not just the insane. There was no medical treatment given to the confined individuals, as it was not seen as a priority. These institutions were aimed to remove these ‘undesirable’ individuals from the view of society (Foucault 1967).
Therefore, Panopticism…...

Similar Documents

We Live in ...

...We live in an imperfect world. Right at this moment, wars are being fought, people being wounded and killed. The media, reporting these to the public, does not generate more violence, rather, it can help to diminish violence in society by making people look these problems in the face. Land mines in Angola were a cause of destruction and devastation to its impoverished people. That is, until Princess Diana stepped in. Photogenic and popular, she instantly attracted all the cameras. The world found out about innocent children hobbling through life on wooden legs, families blown to bits by the pernicious land mines. With this 'CNN effect', people from around the world donated $500 million to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. And even though Diana is gone now, The Ottawa Convention and its ratification by 64 countries last week are the positive and long-lasting effects of the Media's scrutiny. The war in Bosnia might never have stopped, had it not been for the courageous reporters who took photographs and made reports on the bloody and gory conflict. Bombarded by letters and calls from appalled members of the public, members of parliaments across Europe and congressmen in the United States forced their governments to deal with the issue. Ultimately this led to the involvement of peace keeping United Nations troops to control conflict. The media reflects violence. It frequently makes accurate reports on horrible situations, so drawing public concern...

Words: 330 - Pages: 2

‘the Body Has Become Part of a Project to Be Worked at, a Project Increasingly Linked to a Person’s Identity of Self.’ (Entwistle, ‘the Influence of Foucault’

...‘The body has become part of a project to be worked at, a project increasingly linked to a person’s identity of self.’ (Entwistle, ‘The Influence of Foucault,’ 19) Discuss. Pictures of the self- reinforced through language, imagery, embodied practices and mental habits- hold us captive in ways we are not even aware of. The challenge of thinking ourselves differently as embodied individuals demands that we make visible these pictures so that we can come to understand, if you will, that the door might open inwards. (Heyes, 2007: 20) The physical body we live in-‘we’ being our innate selves, our souls- denies society the view beneath the skin. The only indication of our identity, as Heyes implies, is through the visual self. This is supported by Thesander’s (1997) assertion that “the most characteristic aspect of fashion is its ability to transform objects into symbols. Clothes are transformed into fashion garments and the body becomes the fashion body.” (67) In this essay, I will discuss, using various readings, about how women’s bodies are moulded by society and how it shifts with the current ideals of beauty. I will also elaborate on how the body is used as a shell to depict what the inside holds, in other words, the identity of the being residing in it. I will use Michel Foucault’s theories to explain how the body is affected by the subjection of discipline and examination. Then, I will use the concept of cosmetic surgery to show how the body is an ongoing project to be......

Words: 3781 - Pages: 16

Break Through Ideas

...and Steven J.Kramer had provided a breakthrough idea to deal with the motivational issues i.e. “managers are a powerful influencer, they can provide their employees with stimulating yet attainable gaoals, resources, encouragement, should protect the employees from the irrelevant goals, to cut short he/she should provide him a podium to aid him headway with a sanguine attitude.” Leaders Role: To implement the idea the companies either need to train the existing leaders or higher new ones which are having such qualities. As Barbara Kellerman in her book “the end of Leadership”, says “Teaching how to lead is where the money is,". In current eon, the utmost important practice that every organization should adopt is to have their employees satisfied yet motivated only then you will be able to achieve sky high profits. We have many examples like 3M Corp. there is a creative time for them in which they are allowed to invent small things the sticky note was one of the ideas. Now the question is why the companies need to engage their employees in such activities? The answer is simple take any industry the trends are on a continuous go, first the features or the benefits that were the part of the augmented product now are essential feature of the core ones. According to William B. Werther & L.Kerr you donot need to have a single competency in order to have competative advantage it’s the game of multiple simultaneously changing ones. Now to cater this , its not the only task of the......

Words: 2754 - Pages: 12

Discuss Whether It Is Possible to Prove We Are Born with Innate Ideas

...Discuss whether it is possible to prove we are born with innate ideas An innate idea is an idea, of which, we are born with. I believe it is possible that we are born with innate ideas, although few. However, I do not believe it to be possible to prove this. G.E. Moore, Chomsky, Plato and Leibniz all tried to prove humans to have innate ideas. Alas, they could not do so without flaws in their arguments. G.E. Moore had the idea that morality was an innate idea. This is because he believed ‘good’ could be neither taught nor defined, as everyone has different opinions on good. As some people may say it good to kill a serial killer, but many people would argue that this is not. This means our ideas of what is ‘good’ or not must be innate, as they cannot be taught to us, thus our morality is innate. This is unlike a statement such as 2+2=4, as this is a state which can be taught to us and is definitely correct. It cannot be argued against as it is a necessary truth. ‘Good’, conversely, could be something that is picked up through life. That as we grow up and we are told off for doing wrong and praised for doing right, we could learn our morality. This fits in with ‘good’ still being undefinable’, as every child will have a different upbringing with different experiences and learn a different meaning of ‘good’. They will not definitely be born with the sense the idea of morality but learn it from their sense, as Hume would argue. They also learn this from inward expressions-......

Words: 843 - Pages: 4

Do You Agree That We Live in a Dangerous World?

...Do you agree that we live in a dangerous world? Can you remember 9-11? Most people know about this infamous act of terrorism. Unfortunately, it was not the last one. Some people say that the world is becoming a better place in which to live, but we are exposed to an increasing number of dangerous situations. Be it in the physical world, or the virtual world, the number of threats has been on the rise, many times without us even aware of them. Firstly, we are living in an era of wars. Although major wars such as World War II are long gone, there still exist many acts of violence and threats of mass destruction. These are due to advent of terrorism and relentless experimentation on nuclear weapons. These have resulted in increased tensions among major superpowers worldwide, notably North Korea against US and its allies. On a smaller scale, due to the issue to overlapping boundaries between neighboring countries, many people often get killed in border clashes. For example, Thailand and Cambodia had many border clashes in the last decade, leading to numerous deaths of soldiers and civilians alike. Besides, we often hear of suicide bombers in Iraq, in a bid to topple the current democratic government in place. Therefore, it is difficult to say that today’s world is a safer one. Moreover, we face, see and hear about a lot more crime today than we did in the past. If you watch the news, you will hear about a lot of crimes such as random killings or intentional kidnappings in......

Words: 565 - Pages: 3

We Do Not Posses Any Genuine Freedom, Discuss

...“We do not possess any genuine freedom to act ethically” Discuss (35 marks) A person who acts ethically is one who will choose to make good decisions, those that are morally right and are good avoiding the wrong decisions which may have negative consequences. We can link the idea of acting ethically with morals, as an ethical person will have a good set of morals, this is because it is our morals that help is to freely decide which decisions to make, and encourage us to act selflessly and ethically. Eventhough, we have the ability to exercise our free will in all manner of ways and make choices, do we always have free will ? I believe freedom to be the ability to make your own choices, which are not influenced by anyone else’s opinions or decisions, when faced with either a difficult or easy decision. Some philosophers believe that our ability to make free choices is an illusion which means that we are not free at all. Others state that there is something else beyond our understanding that may cause our actions to be determined. These theories can be linked to Determinism. Determinism says that there are laws that exist outside of our control that cause the things that happen-laws such as gravity. Scientific laws determine all our actions based on what has happened before. Previous events have consequences that may be determined and which in turn will cause more consequences. This can be linked to Aristotle’s teachings which stated that every action has some......

Words: 1784 - Pages: 8

Gender Foucault

...1) How do the texts you have selected EITHER challenge or reinforce conventional ideas about the following discourses? a. Gender b. Power (& Leadership) c. Identity d. Nature e. Culture The societies encountered by the Theban woman Antigone is Sophocles' Antigone, and the 19th century Englishwoman Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre, can be seen as highly unfavourable and disdainful of women. Both Antigone and Jane Eyre struggle and resist against a society which places men above them, and which sees expressions of female autonomy and liberty as unfavourable trends. Antigone and Jane Eyre both live in societies where a patriarchal culture dictates how these women should act within society, and what type of behaviour is acceptable, and which isn't. The control and subjugation of women – and the way they express themselves – can be seen as a consequence of discursive formations which aim to define the intrinsic qualities of men and women. It is in this context that the stories of Antigone and Jane Eyre can be seen as challenging conventional notions of gender and gender stereotypes, a highly pervasive discourse which affects a cluster of other ideas. This essay will argue that the characters Antigone in Sophocles' Antigone and Jane Eyre in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre are characters who challenge gender discourses which were very prominent during their time, and subsequently, the ideational influences which structured leadership, the creation of identities, opinions regarding natural...

Words: 2378 - Pages: 10

Foucault and the Ship of Fools

...MICHEL FOUCAULT & THE SHIP OF FOOLS TERM PAPER - WESTERN PHILOSOPHY Submitted by, Meera M Panicker 1st yr Integrated MA Introduction When I started reading Foucault’s madness and Civilization, i had no idea about what i was going to do for the term paper. I was just fascinated by how his ideas on all of it, madness and normality sounded. When i started reading, it was at first not easy to understand, but slowly i started understanding little by little. Foucaults works have little reiews from the west and more reviews from the French. The French had cut and dissected the book in no way the western world has, and this actually made reading harder because there were very little available on the subject. So, i have relied on more of a personal understanding of what i have read. The narrenschiff or the ship of fools, like it had fascinated Foucault also fascinated me. I was fascinated by how renaissance exalted madness and gloricised it in its artworks, but how event then it was excluded at the same time....

Words: 2227 - Pages: 9

Townley and Foucault

...® Acodemy of Management Heview 1993, Vol. 18, No. 3. 518-545. FOUCAULT. POWER/KNOWLEDGE. AND ITS RELEVANCE FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT BARBARA TOWNLEY The University of Alberta Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault. I argue that human resource management (HRM) may be best understood as a discourse and set of practices that attempt to reduce the indeterminacy involved in the employment contract. Here I reread HRM practices from a Foucauldian power-knowledge perspective and suggest that this provides an avenue to reorient contemporary, historical, and comparative analyses of the area. A glimpse at human resource management (HRM) texts would seem to give light to a comment by Beer, Spector, Lawrence, Mills, and Walton (1984) that HRM is a series of seemingly disjointed activities. This notion echoes an earlier view of Baldamus (1961: 347) that what is encompassed by HRM's subject matter is "anything from supervision, incentives and profit sharing to machine-paced production, methods of training and employee selection." Often this heterogeneity is excused in terms of HRM's reflecting the ad hoc and reactive nature of its origins (Jacoby, 1985; Niven, 1967; Ozanne, 1967). What the heterogeneity of HRM highlights, however, is the importance of an organizing principle, or analytical focus, as opposed to common sense description, which gives HRM practices a theoretical coherence. HRM's heterogeneity stresses the importance of an order "that turns a set of bits, which have......

Words: 12810 - Pages: 52

Where Do We Go Now Respone

...Where Do We Go Now? At the end of the film Where Do We Go Now?, the Christian and Muslim women of the village swapped religions overnight leaving the men confused on to what was going on. While men struggled with this decision, the women carried about regular duties as if nothing had changed in their village. After this abrupt shift the men were on the way to bury Nassim, but when they got there, they were stuck trying to figure out which side to put him on, Muslim or Christian. Since the women of the village switched their religions, the men were uncertain as to whether or not Nassim, a Christian, should be buried in the Muslim or Christian side, leading the men to turn around in unison and ask the women “where do we go now?”. This was a really funny way to end the film, and also unexpected. It went from a serious moment, the funeral/ burial, to the confusion of the men of the village. The ending of the movie called for an alternative society in which there are no divisions among the villagers which is demonstrated through religious status. When the men were trying to figure out on which side to bury Nassim, I was thinking why they don’t just put him in the middle, where there would be no difference between Christian or Muslim. This is exactly what the women were trying to do throughout the entire movie and finally accomplished by switching from one religion to another, they wanted the war between two religions to end. This swap in the religions puts......

Words: 560 - Pages: 3

The Age We Live in Now

...In the age we live in now, it’s normal to see almost everyone with some type of electronic device whether it’s in the movies, TV commercials, or in public places. Why is it such a problem for students to use their electronics in schools? I believe that electronics should be used in schools but only to a certain extent. It is an argument that students’ devices, like cell phones, are a distraction from learning and understanding a teacher’s lesson. It is understandable that the rules would request refrain from electronic use but it should not be a problem if a student has finished all of their assignments and is known for acceptable behavior. The privilege to use an electronic could be treated as a reward. One might ask, “What good is an electronic in school anyway?” Well, for certain assignments and extra practice a student could seek assistance online. With schools getting more involved in technology, there are school websites and other learning development sites that are available for students to take advantage of, Most, if not all, colleges and even some high schools allow laptops in class for such practices. A worry with some schools may be that a student has a cell phone on them in general. There could be at home emergencies at some point or a sudden change in schedule to where a student has to contact their guardian. With some people, cell phones are a necessity and not just a desire. In conclusion, there are logical reasons why cell phones and other......

Words: 286 - Pages: 2

As We Are Now

...Tenham Piedade dos Homens!: Masculinidades em Mudanfa, by Marko Monteiro. Juiz de Fora, Brazil: Edi\(Oes Feme, 2000. 94 pp. When the soft-core porn magazine Ete Eta first appeared in 1969, it was marketed as a progressive. general interest pUblication about sex, culture, and human interactions. Two years later, it had already become the most circulated magazine in Brazil (p. 49). In Tenham Piedade dos Homens!. Marko Monteiro explores the changing ways masculinity was represented in the pages of Ete Eta during the years of 1969 through 1972 to propose an understanding of the "new" man in Brazil. I believe that, based on materials from this time frame, a discussion about masculinity can be conceptualized in relation to some [social and historical] perti~ nent events which came about with the appearance of an "other" in traditional gender relations ... starting in the 60s, with the growing visibility and legitimation of discourses challenging machismo, the masculine lost its privileged position as universal subject of discourse. (P. 50) According to Monteiro, during the 1960s and 1970s, with the worldwide proliferation of emancipation and counterculture movements, there was a major break with the traditional representations of the masculine in Brazil. Influenced by U.S. feminist, gay power, and other social movements of the 1960s, men-who before had always been the unmarked. universal subject of discourse-in a short period, became the object ofcritique and discourse. By......

Words: 807 - Pages: 4

We Live in a Throw-Away Society

...head: WE LIVE IN A THROW-AWAY SOCIETY 1 We Live In A Throw-Away Society. Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University WE LIVE IN A THROW-AWAY SOCIETY 2 How many of us have heard the motto, “out with the old and in with the new?” I think it is highly unlikely many have not heard this slogan; mottos like this have become more than just a saying, but a lifestyle. We find it easy to throw away items because they are too old and the newer models are much more appealing. Items are not just tossed away because they are old; at times it is much more convenient to buy disposable items. We live in an era where our time and convenience replaces common sense. This mentality is the reason America has become such a “throw-away society.” In North America, there are 100 million cell phones and 300 million computers discarded every year, this is a result of the rapid pace of product upgrading. Such staggering numbers are caused by product “planned obsolescence” (Guiltinan, 2009. p. 19). Planned obsolescence is making a product or part that will fail or become less desirable over time or after a certain amount of use (Zimmerman, 2008). So who is to blame for such wastefulness? The manufacturing companies advertise to the consumer new and improved items that will make one’s life easier or more enjoyable. Such an advertisement convinces the customer to buy the product. On the other hand, we can......

Words: 982 - Pages: 4

Changes Through Our Lives

...Throughout time mankind has strived to make his life easier. Whether it be through technology, science, or theories of social interaction every generation has made one contribution. From the idea of crop rotation to the cellular telephone mankind has advanced. It can be argued however, that not all of these advancements were beneficial. Many times people are accused of “taking the easy way out”, something that is looked down upon in today’s society. ! Consider, if you will, ancient Grecian Society. With hardly any of the technological or scientific advancements we have today, they were able to produce some of the greatest thinkers of all time. Socrates and Plato still influence modern philosophical thought. In addition, these men were well versed in all disciplines. They were thinkers, mathematicians, writers, scientists, artists and much more. Examine some other great men in history. Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the greatest scientists and also one of the greatest artists of all time, he even invented and drew up early plans for the helicopter. These ancient men, without the technology and ease of life we have today, were able to produce some of the most prolific additions to human knowledge ever. ! Now let us examine some men from our time. Bill Gates, while adding immensely to the pleasures and ease of man’s life, did so only by forcefully destroying many fledgling companies and completely undermining our capitalistic market place. Very very few men in our......

Words: 412 - Pages: 2

What Should We Do Now?

...the implementation of RFID tags in the caps and visors, its strategic and ethical concerns, and proposed solutions, we are advising that Raydar should join in KK Inc.’s interest in tagging their caps and visors. However, much attention must be given to ethics and possible government regulations. Our analysis has factored in Kool Kid Inc.’s desire for an authentic brand and superior customer experience with Raydar’s current capabilities and future goals. We understood the strategic and ethical concerns to be as followed: • Ethics. o Internal and external individuals may question the ethics of tagging children’s clothing • Government Regulation. o Possible congressional bills restricting the use of RFID in clothing and requiring full disclosure with the use of RFID may be passed. • Reputation. o Possible tarnishing of the Raydar brand as a result of consumer privacy concerns may occur. • Financial Cost. o Research and development costs. o The cost to profits if a strong competitor enters the market. Value Control Much attention must be given to the protection of the customer and his/her private information. The following areas must be addressed to help ensure the success of the RFID tagging project, they are: • The database of customer private information. We suggest Raydar collects and holds the customer information and licenses it to KK. Raydar will have complete......

Words: 789 - Pages: 4