Thursday, 25 October 2012

Lecture 3: Panopticism

-How society or the social situations affects are reactions and behaviour.
-Institutions, and the specific type of power they hold over us. Those of a physical presence such as prisons, armies, police. Or those who have organised practices such as marriage and family.

Institutions and institutional power

‘Literature, art and their respective producers do not exist independently of a complex institutional framework which authorises, enables, empowers and legitimises them. This framework must be incorporated into any analysis that pretends to provide a
thorough understanding of cultural goods and practices.’ Randal Johnson in Walker & Chaplin (1999) 


Lecture aims:

-The panopticon
-Understand Michel Foucault's concept of 'Disciplinary society'
-How it make individuals productive and useful
-The body and the docile body

Michel Foucault

-Madness and civilisation
-Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison

The great Confinement (late 1600's)
House of correction - to curb unemployment and idleness
Madmen lived in society, happily.
The social value of work was introduced, and the social usefulness of work. An anxiety started to emerge about all the people who were socially useful. The unproductive were seen as a problem for society.
Work houses/ prison were built (houses of correct) contained the mad, the criminals, the drunks, vagabonds, the diseased, single mothers.
They were made to work, make the unproductive - productive. Labour was used as an exercise of moral reform.
The houses of correction started to be seen as a huge mistake, corruption began between the sane and insane. It was seen as an error.
Specialist institutions were created, for housing and correcting individuals. (The birth of the asylum)

Instead of physical violence to correct people, they're were treated like minors, they were given rewards for good behaviour, if they were bad they were chastised.
Physically control - to mental control, people were trained to behave.
A modern form of discipline.

The emerge of forms of knowledge - biology, psychiatry, medicine. Legitimise the practises of hospitals, doctors, psychiatrists.
These institution affect the way we think. Eventually the people begin to behave in a way they are supposed to by taking responsibility.

The ultimate power of the state over society was a reminder that the people should not test that, result was psychical harm.
Guy Forks - Hung, drawn and quartered. Grisly punishment.

French revolution - guillotine.


Disciplinary society and disciplinary power
Modern discipline: 

Discipline is a ‘technology’ [aimed at] ‘how to keep someone under surveillance, how to control his conduct, his behaviour, his aptitudes, how to improve his performance, multiply his capacities, how to put him where he is most useful: that is discipline in my sense’ 

Surveillance, control conduct and improve.

Philosopher Jeremy Bethams 'panopticon' 1791

Was designed as a multi functioning building, prison, asylum.
Circular building, with area for individuals (cells, with different floors)
Has a mental affect, it was proposed as a building that would function perfectly.
Inmates are constantly starting in to the centre of the building, being supervised, no lateral visibility of any one else (fellow inmates).
Has a strange affect, entirely opposite of the dungeon (mass social repression).
Panopicton is very light, and has a lot on display - the object of study.

Because you are constantly reminded that you are being watched, and are expected to behave in a certain way, you never rebel as you would be caught, no one to share thought or feeling with.
An internal form of physiological effects.

The panopticon - internalises in the individuals conscious state.

-Allows scrutiny
-Allows supervisor to experiment on subjects
-Aims to make them productive
-Reforms prisoners
-Helps treat patients
-Instruct school children
-Helps confine, but also study the insane
-Helps supervise workers
-Helps put beggars and idles to work

Examples of the panopticon:
-The open plan office - encourages people sharing experiences, workers in open plan officers are constantly seen by the boss, changes the behaviour of the workers.
(The Office) - Ricky Gervais

Those within the office begin to act up to the cameras, playing institutional roles, changing their behaviour.
-Open plan bars as apposed to traditional pubs - everything in the bar is visible, start to adapt to the space.
-Google earth - every street int he world is recorded and photographed, we live in a surveillance society.
-Pentonville prison - a version of the panopticon, in each seat is student between barriers, can only see the central lecturer/ teacher. Lecture theatres todays are arranged in that very way.
-Panopticon methods makes people learn more effectively, self regulation, control of oneself.
-cctv os everywhere in society

Disciplinary society produces what Foucault calls - 'Docile bodies'
-Self monitoring
-Self correcting
-Obedient bodies
Workforce of controlled citizens

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