Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Panoptical Power in China Essay examples -- Prison Jail Imprisonment E
Panoptical Power in China Jeremy Bentham, a leading English prison reformer of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, developed an architectural plan for an ideal prison that he called the Panopticon. Such a prison would consist of a ring of individual cells encircling an observation tower. Each of the cells would open toward the tower and be illuminated by its own outside window. So, by the effect of backlighting, a single guard in the observation tower could keep watch on many prisoners--each of whom would be individually confined--without himself being seen. And because the prisoners could not see their supervisors, they would have to assume that they were being watched at all times--even if they were not. The Panopticon was designed to maximize the power of a dominating, overseeing gaze upon a transparent society of inmates. The purpose of the Panopticon was not so much to punish wrongdoers as to prevent wrongdoing by immersing prisoners in a field of total visibility in the expectation that the possibil ity of constant surveillance would serve to restrain the inmates (Foucault, 1980). Such surveillance would be aimed toward the interiorization of the supervisor's gaze so that each prisoner would, in effect, become his/her own overseer. Thus, through self-policing, surveillance would become permanent and pervasive in its effects--even if it was not continuously exercised. Although relatively few prisons have been constructed according to the plan of the Panopticon given Bentham's optimism about its practical utility, Foucault (1975/1977; 1980) has articulated the Panopticon as a generalizable model of the functioning of power in modern disciplinary societies with applications beyond the prison including hospitals, the... ..., J., Dubois, A.-M., Le Barbier, F., Olivier, J.-F., Peemans, J.-P., & Wang, N. (1979). China: The people's republic, 1949-1976. New York: Pantheon. Cheshire, G. (1992). The long way home. Film Comment, 28, 36-39. Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison (A. Sheridan, Trans.). New York: Vintage. (Original work published 1975) Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality, Volume I: An introduction (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York: Vintage. (Original work published 1976) Foucault, M. (1980). Power/knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings, 1972-1977 (C. Gordon, Ed.). New York: Pantheon. Link, P. (1992). Evening chats in Beijing: Probing China's predicament. New York: Norton. Min, A. (1993). Red azalea: Life and love in China. London: Victor Gollancz. Rayns, T. (1992). Nights at the opera. Sight and Sound, 2, 10-13.