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Panopticism

Uploaded by basmith on Jun 16, 2002

In "Panopticism" Michel Foucault describes the "practices of investigation" which in turn gave rise to a society that was under constant surveillance. Soon the society became a "disciplinary" society. Michel Foucault explains the study and effect of "Panopticism" which gave rise to many social sciences, which included sciences of man, or human behavior. It is evident that the effect of "Panopticism" had a great psychological effect on the disciplined society. Why would a society that encouraged discipline and surveillance also promote the growth of a psychological effect on their society?

Psychology is the science that deals with the mental processes and behavior of an individual. Psychology determines the emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, group, or activity. A psychological effect can also be described as an action or argument that is used to manipulate ones mind , and to cause an individual to "be on their toes" at all times. The use of surveillance from the middle ages to the present has not changed much. Of course the tools used to create a disciplined society has changed greatly, but the effect remains the same. Michel Foucault explains in "Panopticism" the "practices of investigation" at the end of the Middle Ages gave rise to scientific inquiry. Undoubtedly scientific inquiry was responsible for Galileo to verify that our planet revolves around the sun. Michel Foucault also explains "our society is one not of spectacle but of surveillance". He merely is saying that the society is not on display for entertainment purposes but the actions of the society are on display to encourage discipline and to promote a psychological barrier that may reduce the negativity in the society.

In today's society we use the approach of surveillance more than ever before. Where ever you go you see a camera or some type of surveillance security mechanism. On the streets, there are "red light" cameras in the stores there are security cameras even in the dressing rooms there are anti-theft cameras, all help to conform our present society into a "disciplined" society. Much like Michel Foucault's description of the "Panopticon", the same psychological effect is taken on our present society. The psychological effect is what the government and other leaders want. Once a citizen of a particular group or society is manipulated into believing that they are being watched, nine times out of ten the citizen will not act in a negative manner....

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Uploaded by:   basmith

Date:   06/16/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (734 words)

Views:   1828

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