Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault Essay

1906 Words8 Pages
Stability in terms of society can be defined as the state in which power is clear and defined, and the constituents abide to those in power. In modern day institutions, a certain amount of stability must exist or people would lack the motivation to get work done and would not respond to authority. To ensure motivation, employers will install cameras, or use other techniques to always keep an eye on their workers. If people are doing nothing wrong, there is no reason to have a problem with being watched. For this reason, it is not surprising that employers set their work station similar to a Panopticon, an institutional building that is step up with someone in the middle watching everyone, but the workers don’t know if they are being…show more content…
A select group of people, called syndics, would lock the doors from the outside, and make sure everyone was accounted for. However, despite the rigidness of all these measures, they maintained stability and prevented the spread of the disease, and these measures came from the fear of the authorities. The fear of the authorities comes from by the fear of the plague. In this society, the mechanisms against the plague is what created discipline. This is a classic example of how a Panopticon can benefit society; when something needs to be accomplished, a Panopticon can force people into doing whatever needs to get done. In this example, the Panopticon forces people to obey the rules of the village because they are afraid of catching the plague. While this is not a traditional Panopticon institution, society decided that having the plague was abnormal, and it would do what it took for society to become normal. In this story, power comes from the fear of the disease. All modern institutions, such as prisons, workplaces and schools, supervise people using mechanisms that derive from the ones used in this story. In “Panopticism”, Foucalt describes the architecture of a Panopticon, and how it makes it so unique and efficient. A person in the middle is watching at all times, yet the people can never know if they are being watched or not. Also, the prisoners cannot communicate with one another, which prevents the threat
Open Document