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Discipline and Punish
Discipline and Punish
The Birth of the Prison

Beginning with the emergence of Western penal methods in the seventeenth century, the noted French philosopher explores the role of prisons in society and shows that prisons today, as always, simply define, refine, and perpetuate crime. Reprint.


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authored-by Michel Foucault on 2/20/2020, 12:45:32 AM

excerpt The seeing machine was once a dark room in which individuals spied; it has become a transparent building in which the exercise of power may be observed by society as a whole. 207 on 2/20/2020, 12:45:32 AM

excerpt This enclosed, segmented space, observed at every point, in which the individuals are inserted in a fixed place, in which the slightest movements are supervised,in which all events are recorded, in which an uninterupted work of writing links the centre and periphery, in which power is exercised without division, according to a continuous hierarchical figure, in which each individual is constantly located, examined and distributed among the living beings, the sick and the dead - all this constitutes a compact model of the disciplinary mechanism. 197 on 2/23/2020, 8:30:15 PM

excerpt Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. 201 on 2/23/2020, 8:31:48 PM

excerpt The Panopticon is a machine for dissociating the see/being seen dyad: in the peripheric ring, one is totally seen, without ever seeing; in the central tower, one sees everything without ever being seen. 202 on 2/23/2020, 8:33:00 PM

excerpt But the Panopticon was also a laboratory; it could be used as a machine to try out experiments, to alter behaviour, to train or correct individuals. 203 on 2/23/2020, 8:42:58 PM

excerpt The plague-stricken town, the panoptic establishment - the differences are important. They mark, at a distance of a century and a half, the transformations of the disciplinary programme. In the first case, there is an exceptional situation: against an extraordinary evil, power is mobilized; it makes itself everywhere present and visible; it invents new mechanisms; it separates, it immobilizes, it partitions; it constructs for a time what is both a counter-city and the perfect society; it imposes an ideal functioning, but one that is reduced, in the final analysis, like the evil that it combats, to a simple dualism of life and death: that which moves brings death, and one kills that which moves. The Panopticon, on the other hand, must be understood as a generalizablemodel of functioning; a way of defining power relations in terms of the everyday life of men. 205 on 2/23/2020, 8:45:50 PM

excerpt It is in fact a figure of political technology that may and must be detached from any specific use. It is polyvalent in its applications; it serves to reform prisoners, but also to treat patients, to instruct schoolchildren, to confine the insane, to supervise workers, to put beggars and idlers to work. It is a type of location of bodies in space, of distribution of individuals in relation to one another, of hierarchical organization, of disposition of centres and channels of power, of definition of the instruments and modes of intervention of power, which can be implemented in hospitals, workshops, schools, prisons. Whenever one is dealing with a multiplicity of individuals on whom a task or a particular form of behaviour must be imposed, the panoptic schema may be use. 205 on 2/23/2020, 8:49:16 PM

excerpt The Panopticon, on the other hand, has a role of amplification; although it arranges power, although it is intended to make it more economic and more effective, it does so not for power itself, nor for the immediate salvation of a threatened society: its aim is to strengthen the social forces - to increase production, to develop the economy, spread education, raise the level of public morality; to increase and multiply. 208 on 2/23/2020, 8:54:47 PM

excerpt The body of the king, with its strange material and physical presence, with the force that he himself deploys or transmits to some few others, is at the opposite extreme of this new physics of power represented by panopticism. 208 on 2/23/2020, 8:54:59 PM


THE PRACTICE OF OPINION POLLING AS A DISCIPLINARY MECHANISM: A FOUCAULDIAN PERSPECTIVE references Discipline and Punish on 2/22/2020, 3:06:28 AM