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Social Sciences
Course Code
SCS 1160
Jordan Stancil

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Foucault writes that the Panopticon allows power to be exercised without physical force:
“... [T]he external power may throw off its physical weight...[and win] a perpetual
victory that avoids any physical confrontation, and which is always decided in advance.”
What does Foucault mean by this? How does the Panopticon allow power to be exercised
in this way?
Foucault & Power
Key point: Power is not centered in a class or the state it is everywhere.
If power is everywhere, does that not mean it is nowhere? Who is in control?
Changed social thought because he shifted the terms of debate away from a
Marxist approach from class power to a broader flow of power in society
from different places (individuals, racial group, women, men) anyone can
have power in any given situation, as well as the notion that resistors can
also exercise power.
Power is internalized by the individual and can come from anywhere and
anyone, it is not in the institutions and acted upon on the subject, it is
internalized by you.
System of power outside the individual and acts on the individual is rejected
by Foucault
If what he is saying is true than there is no such thing as the individual
existing outside of society.
Foucault & Prison
The book is excavating forms of punishment that are more civilized and less
Punishment is no longer about torture and killing; it is about fixing you and
returning you to society. However, he does not want us to the current is
more humane, it seems more humane, but what is actually happening is the
capacity of power (without naming who has it) to control you is greater now
than it was before.
“We punish less, but we punish better”, it is just more effective now.
He believes everything in society is modeled off of prison; it is the model for
all of our institutions for today. Everything is disciplinary.
Schools, hospitals, medical system, factories etc., all have this disciplinary
3 Techniques of Control
o Observation
o Judgment
o Examination
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