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COMS 354 Study Guide - Final Guide: Gilles Deleuze, Crane Wilbur, Mervyn Leroy

Communication Studies
Course Code
COMS 354
Will Straw
Study Guide

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Week 7 – (March 7) Places and situations: Prison scenes ‘
Bettina van Hoven and David Sibley . "'Just duck': the role of vision in the
production of prison spaces.' Environment and Planning D: Society and Space,
volume 26, pages 1001 - 1017 (2008)
Chris Philo. "Accumulating Populations: Bodies, Institutions, and Space."
International Journal of Population Geography, vol. 7, 473-490 (2001).
Cartographies of crime: Crime mapping
The space of prisons:
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There exist similarities between the architecture of prisons and the
architecture of art museums.
“The parallel is no coincidence. Prisons and museums — two massive expansions
in the built environment — led the last great wave of American urban renewal.
Before the current wave of housing, sports, education and transit projects, civic
space in the United States was cordoned into zones of cultural and societal
transgression. After two centuries of incremental growth, the number of
correctional facilities and museums in the United States tripled, from roughly 600
prisons and 6,000 museums in 1975 to more than 1,800 prisons and 18,000
museums by 2005. 2
Jeremy Bentham (1748- 1832)
The design of the prison as Panopticon (possibility of prisoners being
watched at all points form a single point)
Bentham’s Panopticon (1791): architectural form for a prison which
consisted of a circular, glass roofed, tanklike structure with cells along the
external wall facing toward a central rotunda. Guards in the Rotunda could
keep all the inmates in the surrounding cells under constant surveillance. Its
plan was influential on later structures despite never being adopted at the
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The Panopticon is not about the act of being directly watched so much as it is
about the probability of being watched
The prisoner internalized the sense of being monitored adjusts their behavior
This becomes the very model of power in modern societies: we adjust to the
assumption that we are being watched, measured, formed. Power is this
internalization of that assumption,
Eventually, Foucault suggests, we may not need prisoners; power will be
distributed throughout society, in the sense everyone has of being watched,
measured and surveilled.
There are two images, then, of discipline. At one extreme the
discipline- blockage, the enclosed institution, established on the edges of society,
turned inwards towards negative functions: arresting evil, breaking
communications, suspending time. At the other extreme, with panopticism, is the
discipline mechanism: a functional mechanism that must improve the exercise of
power by making it lighter, more rapid, more effective, a design of subtle
coercion for a society to come (Foucault 1977: 209).
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