Saturday, 10 November 2012


J. Bentham designed the panopticon - 1791 - maximised functionality 

Elements of the Panopticon:
  • being watched
  • isolation
  • confinement 
  • surveillance
  • psychological effect
  • psychological /mental discipline
Panopticism - modern form of social concern, style of new modern discipline, based on the principles of panopticon, a method of people in society controlling us.
Examples of modern day panopticism/discipline: self regulation 
  • Swipe cards (in college/work) - to check when you enter and leave the building - more inclined for people to be on time because of the risk of getting caught.
  • CCTV - constant governmental reminder of power
  • Speed Cameras
  • The internet - google maps etc.
  • Open plan offices 
Panopticism linked with 'the gaze' - you are always being watched but you don't have the power to return the gaze, because you are constantly scrutinised you conform to acting a certain way.  Mass media as panopticism.  A self fulfilling prophecy, institutional gaze.  One defensive of the gaze is it stops women from being objectified, to say its liberating is wrong - its ultimately controlling.

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