the panopticism

the panopticism

Panopticism is a social theory developed by the french philosopher Michael Foucault, in his book discipline and punishment. The Panopticism is a circular building with a tower in the middle of it. The walls of the building are made up of cells upon cells to house prisoners. The purpose of this is to increse the security of the building through the use of survalience. The prisoners can see this tower at all times however can never see inside it. The artitecture of this building individulizes the prisoners making sure they are always visible, but at the same time they never no when they are being watched.

This guarantees the function of power, even when there is no one in the tower watching them. Michael Foucault also goes onto explain how this time of power can be applied elsewhere in schools, hospitals and factories. It all comes own to the artitecture of the building.

There are many examples of this in the modern world today. Increased surveillance cameras have the effect of reminding us that someone could always be watching our actions where ever we are. This prompts us to behave and not mess around, even though the camera we saw may not evan be working!


~ by hmsteel on March 15, 2011.

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