Panopticon Of Technology

1127 Words5 Pages
The Panopticon of modern technology. Although modern technological gadgets have had positive effects, they have also had negative effects. For instance, in North Korea most people have access to the internet, called Kwangmyong, but it is completely walled off from the outside world. The North Korean government manages to use technology to further its own agenda by limiting the amount and type of information that is available to its population to avoid a movement like the Arab Spring. The work of Foucault in his book Discipline and Punish is an allegory of the North Korean government’s use of the internet and modern technology. For example, Foucault stated in his work that the success of disciplinary power results from the use of simple instruments;…show more content…
Bourdieu's approach to understanding social life is a lot similar to Foucault’s. Wacquant stated in his article that for Bourdieu social reality, and the basis for inequality, consisted of relations, not individuals or groups. These relations were categorized in two ways: first, as sets of objective positions that individuals occupy and which externally constrain their perception and action; and secondly, placed inside individual humans in the form of perception and appreciation through our habits, which is how we internally experience and actively construct the lived world (2013:275). Bourdieu’s understand of symbolic power and group-making is similar to Bentham’s and Foucault’s theory of the Panopticon. Thus, we can extend Bourdieu’s theory of how the general public is influenced to our postmodern societies. Although, technology has changed, the domination of people by the elite has not. In our postmodern societies, governments and corporations use the internet, news, and postmodern technological gadgets to monitor and control their people; as a result of these technological inventions, the general public’s agency has decreased even…show more content…
In our contemporary societies, it is encouraged to be an entrepreneur, to invent or to innovate. With new inventions such as the Google Glass, smartphones, and smart watches, it is becoming increasingly easier for monopolies such as Amazon, Google, and Apple to influence the public in ways that we cannot fathom, similar to Bentham’s model of the Panopticon. These major capitalist corporations create technological gadgets that become an extension of us, and Haraway further confirmed this by stating in the Cyborg Manifesto that the machine is becoming an extension of us, our processes, a part of our embodiment (1991: 180). As a result of our dependence on these gadgets, it is even easier for corporations and governments to control, monitor, and influence the general public. Therefore, the agency of the general public has decreased in ways that were not possible before. For example, if I were to search on Google “insurance,” the results would not be objective, but based on a system that I have no influence over, meaning my agency has decreased by the simple fact that the Google search engine is making a decision on what the top suggestions are for me. As humans become more dependent on these technological gadgets and the blurring of lines between what a means to be a human and a technological gadget decreases, our agency reduces even more, by the simple fact that the
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