Reform has to be thoroughly comprehended by each person in order for it to take place. If people change their perspective regarding reform conditions are likely to improve, as only by being offered innovative alternatives will they be able to fully exploit their power and do everything they can in order to effectively change society.
Society contemporary to the time when the rooklyn Daily Eagle published this article suffered from corruption, even with the fact that it progressed greatly in the second half of the twentieth century. People were still unable to rely on the system and furthermore, most expected authorities to favor the elite while the lower classes were disregarded. Simplicity is the key to implementing an efficient government, as even though society was shaped around traditional methods of imposing authority, it can function easier and better if panoptical concepts are adopted (rooklyn Daily Eagle).
According to the article,…… [Read More]
While one can discen the majo points that Foucault is making-namely, that a panoptic stuctue in education, the militay, hospitals, and othe goupings of individuals allows them to be disciplined without ceding powe to one o a few othe individuals-it is difficult to undestand the fine points of his agument if one is not an expet in a numbe of specialized histoical and sociological subjects.
Despite these difficulties in undestanding the specifics of Foucault's agument, his oveall points ae elatively easy to undestand-that society is moving towad a genealized powe stuctue that may be imposed with vey little individual involvement, simila to that of an institutionalized population such as a pison o hospital o boading school. These oveall ideas, of educing "the numbe of those who execise [powe] while inceasing the numbe of those on whom it is execised," and the pediction that this type of discipline and social stuctue…… [Read More]
In his book, Discipline and Punish, French philosopher, Michel Foucault, develops and introduces a social theory known as panopticism. In his development of this theory, the author begins with an explanation of the measures needed against the plague in the 17th Century. The plague, which is met by order stands as a figure against which the concept of discipline is created. The existence of a complete set of procedures and institutions for evaluating and overseeing abnormal beings results in the emergence of disciplinary techniques created by the fear of the plague. Consequently, the contemporary mechanisms for managing abnormal people derive from these disciplinary techniques.
The author then discusses Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, which is a building with a tower at the center that makes it possible to see the incarceration of a schoolboy or prisoner. This visibility is a trap since all individuals can be seen though they cannot communicate…… [Read More]
Foucault and Davis
The idea of the panopticon came from English philosopher and thinker Jeremy Bentham, after he helped to design a building in which one supervisor could observe all of the workers within. Eventually, Bentham's panopticon was converted into prison design, as people realized the benefits of a building which contains a point from where all of the prisoners inside could be watched by a single guard. While the architectural theory of the panopticon failed to catch on during Bentham's lifetime, many philosophers have since examined the idea from a variety of angles, discussing ideas like social control and authoritarianism. One of those philosophers was the Frenchman Michel Foucault, who wrote a book called Discipline and Punish in 1975 which contained many references to the panopticon as becoming the model for social structures. According to Foucault's view, the panopticon as imagined by Bentham has become more than just a…… [Read More]
Gaze and the Culturally Determined Body
Michel Foucault first developed his theory of the panopticon as a means of describing the ways in which a society may dominate the thought processes and behavior of the individual by "convincing" that individual to implicitly engage in their own surveillance, in the same way that a literal, brick-and-mortar panopticon relies on the self-regulation of prisoner behavior due to the fear of possible surveillance and punishment. In formulating this theory, Foucault uncovered important details regarding the way in the body is created, regulated, and sometimes even decimated by societal standards, something which Susan Bordo expands upon in her essay "Beauty (re)Discovers the Male Body." Bordo analyzes the way in which bodies (and in this case, male bodies) and the meanings gained from them are culturally determined, to the extent that the human body as it is commonly considered has almost nothing to do with…… [Read More]
Too little, for what matters is that he knows he is being watched and too much, because he has no need in fact of being so (Alford, 2000).
Bentham laid down the principle that power should be visible and unverifiable. Visible in that the inmate would constantly have before him the tall outline of the central tower from which he was watched. Unverifiable in that the inmate must never know whether he is being looked at or not, but he must be sure that there is always the possibility. In order to make the attendance or nonattendance of the guard unverifiable, so that the prisoners, in their cells, cannot even see a shadow, Bentham visualized not only venetian blinds on the windows of the central observation hall, but, on the inside, partitions that intersected the hall at right angles and, zigzag opening instead of doors. For even the slightest noise,…… [Read More]
Take for example, Foucault's 'Omnus at singulatim', in which the thinker shows his reader how the Christian practice of 'pastoral power' paves the way for certain modern practices that in actuality govern almost all the aspects of a living population anywhere in the world. Foucault also stressed on his belief that religion, in a positive way, possessed the capacity to contest against the nascent forms of control instituted during the modern period of man, like for example, Protestant eformation, which tried its best to resist the onslaught of emerging forms, and therefore, became representative of a set of emerging disciplinary discourses and practices. As far as Foucault was concerned, religion presented difficulties for autonomous self fashioning, but at the same time, religion was not a dangerous precursor to modern forms of governments.
To conclude, it must be said that Michael Foucault's theories are as relevant today as they were…… [Read More]
feeling overwhelmed. The required reading felt daunting and it seemed like the expectations put upon students were rather high. I remember having the impression that a lot of my learning would entail simply memorizing and regurgitating facts and ideas. I had concerns about the amount of writing expected of us. As I explained in my "Guided Self-Placement" essay, I started this course without having had a great deal of reading and writing experience.
I feel that this course has enabled me to write and think more critically and formally. Previously, I was not aware of the necessary tone that academic essays had to take and that it's appropriate to omit colloquial phrases and words such as "like." In fact, I would still say that I sometimes have a tendency to write in too much of a conversational tone, and have to be particularly watchful of that in my writing.
I…… [Read More]
"I cry at nothing, and cry most of the time… I lie here on this great immovable bed -- it is nailed down, I believe -- and follow that pattern about by the hour. It is as good as gymnastics, I assure you. I start, we'll say, at the bottom, down in the corner over there where it has not been touched, and I determine for the thousandth time that I will follow that pointless pattern to some sort of a conclusion." She does not think of her child, and only occasionally of her husband. The wallpaper and the imaginary woman command her focus. Forced into a pointless existence, and denied the mobility and the intellectual excitement that make life meaningful, the woman's mind turns to other intellectual and imaginary pursuits, Gilman suggests.
Eventually, rather than describing herself as looking at the pattern of the wallpaper, Gilman's heroine disassociates and…… [Read More]
Excerpts and links to written works:
Finally, brief excerpts from a representative sampling of the author's written works is provided below, with the complete work being available through the links provided.
1. Peoples' Control: "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle July 29, 1900, article 'Points-of-View' discuses elements that can be better understood from the perspective of "Panopticism." People living contemporary to the article were apparently devoted to restructuring society and shaping it as they considered being best for themselves and for the community as a whole. . . ."
In the essay, "Peoples' Control," I write in part that, "I have tried my best to [curb] this anxiety, to feel more comfortable in my position of surveillance." This project was written using resource materials found on a site that is powered by turnitin.com called writecheck.turnitin.com. After completing this project, I ran it through this web site in the hopes of avoiding any…… [Read More]
omen and Gender Studies
Of all the technologies and cultural phenomena human beings have created, language, and particularly writing, is arguably the most powerful, because it is the means by which all human experience is expressed and ordered. As such, controlling who is allowed to write, and in a modern context, be published, is one of the most effective means of controlling society. This fact was painfully clear to women writers throughout history because women were frequently prohibited from receiving the same education as men, and as the struggle for gender equality began to read a critical mass near the end of the nineteenth century, control over women's access to education and writing became a central theme in a number of authors' works, whether they considered themselves feminists or not. In particular, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1892 story The Yellow allpaper features this theme prominently, and Virginia oolf's extended essay A…… [Read More]
Stranger Things is a television show on Netflix that recounts the story of a missing boy, a frantic mother, and three friends looking for an answer. The show is a pastiche of popular 80's movies and television shows that featured monsters like E.T. and telekinetic children like Charlie in Firestarter. While the show does not hit on anything original, it does manage to hit a nerve among fans and has swept the nation with its sweet whispers of nostalgia. The show perhaps invites people to reach for their own ideologies in life vicariously through the main characters. Althusser discusses ideologies in his piece, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" and Bell Hooks examines desire and resistance in "Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance" that can point towards a better understanding of such a fast-growing cultural phenomenon.
Althusser defines ideologies from a traditional standpoint as 'world outlooks. However, Althusser admits they do…… [Read More]
Carnal teachings: raunch aesthetics as queer feminist pedagogies in Yo! Majesty's hip hop practice" by Jilian Hernandez, the essay explores the concept of 'raunch aesthetics' in the video for the song, "Don't Let Go." Hernandez also explore the notions of community cultural capital, color blind/new racism, and postfeminism through the performance of the women in the video. Hernandez's interpretation of queer and feminist teachings via these four concepts and through the music video provides a unique look, into analysis of text and visuals to gather and form ideas and theory.
The first concept to analyze is 'raunch aesthetics'. A term see in feminist theory, 'raunch aesthetics' describes the women in hip hop and the various ways they express sexuality via staging, choreography, and performance of lyrics. Women in hip hop that participate in 'raunch aesthetics' are thought to attempt to own their sexual identities as well as their bodies by…… [Read More]
There are numerous reasons why so many movies fail the Bechdel test. Most of these reasons directly correspond to the exact nature of this assessment, and what it reveals about society. Still others of these reasons pertain to the function of films within society. For the most part, they are used to reinforce societal values and mores. To a lesser extent, this medium is also widely deployed as a means of introducing new societal norms which will one day become part of the social establishment. Finally, still other reasons directly correlate to the notion of gender and gender constructs in Westernization today. A thorough examination of these different reasons reveals so many movies fail the Bechdel test because they reflect the values of a male-dominated society.
In examining the specific way in which this this thesis applies to some of the theorists analyzed within this class, it is first necessary…… [Read More]