1253 Words6 Pages
Focault Panopticism "Our society is not one of spectacle, but of surveillance; under the surface of images, one invests bodies in depth; behind the great abstraction of exchange, there continues the meticulous concrete training of useful forces; the circuits of communication are the supports of an accumulation and a centralization of knowledge; the play of signs defines the anchorages of power; it is not that the beautiful totality of the individual is amputated, repressed, altered by our social order, it is rather that the individual is carefully fabricated in it, according to a whole technique of forces and bodies. (pp.333-34)" In the essay, Panopticism, by Michel Focault, he makes the argument that we live in a society of…show more content…
That is the most important tool of the panopticon. Foucault makes this assumption about today's society by saying that we are always being watched whether we know it or not. One always keeps an eye over their shoulder as a result of the constant fear that someone is watching them. This consideration forms the basis of power for those who have the control and power - society, government, and state. The power gives those in charge a safety net, making the individual conscious of the presence of a hidden onlooker, causing them to think one twice before any move. An excellent of Focault's theory is how Santa Claus can be used as a form of power to make children behave. "He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good. So be good for goodness sake." Focault's theory shows that this song about Santa Claus is more than a simple Christmas carol, it is used to plant the constant fear in the mind of a child that they are being watched even when they can't see who is doing the watching. The mere threat at Christmas time of this hidden force is enough to keep children well behaved. This is only one example of many in our society. Furthermore, verbal communication in the Panopticon was not an option. The prisoners were not allowed to speak to one another. This limit on communication dehumanizes the inmate - communication is what makes us people. If we could not talk to each other we
Open Document