Lecture 10, Part 2 – Spectacle and Surveillance

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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2301A/B
Randall Pogorzelski

Lecture 10, Part 2 – Spectacle and Surveillance  Quotes… o The perpetual penality that traverses all points and supervises every instant in the disciplinary institutions compares, differentiates, hierarchizes, homogenizes, excludes. In short, it normalizes. It is opposed, therefore, term by term, to a judicial penality whose essential function is to refer, not to a set of observable phenomena, but to a corpus of laws and texts that must be remembered; that operates not by differentiating individuals, but by specifying acts according to a number of general categories; not by hierarchizing, but quite simply by bringing into play the binary opposition of the permitted and the forbidden; not by homogenizing, but by operating the division, acquired once and for all, of condemnation. (183)  Modern and pre-modern/ancient views of crime  Ancient: legal view/definition of crime o What is permitted and what is forbidden o Acts are criminal or not, based on a particular set of laws  Modern: disciplinary view of crime o Social constructionist view of crime  Deals with the structure of a specific society o What is criminal goes beyond the law, deals with what is socially acceptable and what is not o Disciplinary mechanism is about the people, differentiates the people, not the criminal acts o I. The examination transformed the economy of visibility into the exercise of power. Traditionally, power was what was seen, what was shown and what was manifested and, paradoxically, found the principle of its force in the movement by which it deployed that force. Those on whom it was exercised could remain in the shade; they received light only from that portion of power that was conceded to them, or from the reflection of it that for a moment they carried. Disciplinary power, on the other hand, is exercised through its invisibility; at the same time it imposes on those whom it subjects a principle of compulsory visibility. In discipline, it is the subjects who have to be seen. (187) o 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 uninterrupted 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. The plague is met by order; its function is to sort out every possible confusion: that of the disease, which is transmitted when bodies are mixed together; that of the evil, which is increased when fear and death overcome prohibitions. (197)  At the heart of order, is discipline and punishment  Evil (criminality) is met by order  Might think of criminality as a sort of criminality, and vice versa o Psychological positivism  Punishment is about improving and curing, we can rehabilitate people  In the modern world, we believe that state has a direct interest and maintaining order  Indirect interest in the ancient world; crime was seen as confrontation between people instead of between people and the state; state only involved in extreme circumstances o Bentham's Panopticon is the architectural figure of this composition. We know the principle on which it was based: at the periphery, an annular building; at the centre, a tower; this tower is pierced with wide windows that open onto the inner side of the ring; the peripheric building is divided into cells, each of which extends the whole width of the building; they have two windows, one on the inside, corresponding to the windows of the tower; the other, on the outside, allows the light to cross the cell from one end to the other. All that is needed, then, is to place a supervisor in a central tower and to shut up in each cell a madman, a patient, a condemned man,
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