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Panopticism review - Essay Example

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Foucault’s idea was anchored on the need for societies to develop sound and effective mechanisms that could be used to discharge power more economically and more effectively…
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Panopticism review
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Panopticism review

The tower was to be made in such a manner that only the people operating it had the vantage view of the prisoners. The prisoners could not have any clear view of their jailers.
The organization of the panopticon increased the potency of power in the minds of the prisoners and made the control of the prison more efficient. In essence, the ideals of total control of the prison facility as imagined by Foucault borrowed from the quarantines against the plague as practiced in the seventeenth century (Veyne 54). The process of quarantine involved the determination of a range of processes that maintained some strict discipline in affected villages including locking people within their houses and keeping away the keys. The nature of discipline was regulated in ways that ensured easy control of the villages by the authorities. Threats of death were used to ensure compliance. Critics contend that the panopticon was modeled on the desire by the seventeenth century societies to protect civilizations from the scourge of the plague. Others contend that the objective was aimed at achieving a perfect society.
Some of the issues that continue to attend to the matters of society are largely determined by the desire by central authorities to design the codes of ethics for their subjects. Such objectives often come into conflict with the theories that reinforce the need for human freedom and liberty. Critics of panopticism argue that governments do not have the moral authority to suppress the liberties and freedoms of the governed. They add that the idea of a perfect society is illusory and defeatist in nature. As such, they seek to demonstrate ways in which the processes of governance can be moderated in ways that support the free reign of the will of the governed. Within a modern context, Foucault’s panopticism could be conceptualized in terms of the structural ... Read More
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