Michel Foucault: Panopticism Breakdown

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Michel Foucault: Panopticism Foucault’s essay, “Panopticism” twists how we usually think about our society. He brings up a theory of how society, thought we think of it as being free, can actually be a prison set up by very intelligent individuals to create what they think is the best way to govern a human society in order for it to continue as we know it. It is also brought up that this “Panopticon” could have been around for a very long time. He shows examples of times during plagues, prisons, and even talks about schools and hospitals. Society is trying to form us in order to fit it, to be able to fit into the society means that we have to be trapped by it. But is it necessarily a bad thing? Now that we have realized the “truth” of the matter, what are we to do about it? Change it? Or let it go on. In order to go on, first one must learn about “Panopticism”. First you must learn that you cannot really fully understand it, Panopticism sort of exists (such as a building) but yet it doesn’t exist (like an idea) as The Matrix quotes, “Love is just a word. What matters is the meaning you attach to the word.”(Revolutions) So to Panopticism, we are going to attach basically what you think of a prison. Panopticism can be described as elements in a system or government given to control the people involved in that system. It mostly consists of a center of control that has a system of survalience, a chain of command, and a purpose to control the people under power. Panopticism exists in many forms of facilities and institutions we use today. And can be shown how you can view it as either good or bad. Hospitals, for example, bring many examples. Doctors govern how the patients are organized, prioritized, and treated. The doctors can literally determine who lives and who dies, and nothing in the patients’ power can stop it or change it. Doctors carefully

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