Friday, November 29, 2019

Knowledge And Power Hand In Hand, But Whose Hand Is It Essays

Knowledge and power hand in hand, but whose hand is it? Regardless from where a person comes from, one is always under constant surveillance by someone in society, which in return affects everyone's individual actions and reactions. Foucault's Panopticism proves that our ideals we have gained from society do manipulate how we act and behave without realizing it. Our society's social factors and the knowledge we possess as a society can control one's action if one comprehends how power can control other individual's actions. Foucault's Panopticism created a prison that could achieve 100% observation by one overseer in a circular building to gain the knowledge of the prisoners and give the feeling of inferiority and powerlessness. Foucault believed all that is needed, then, is to place a supervisor in a central tower and shut up in each cell a madman...they are so many cages, so many small theaters, in which each actor is alone, perfectly individualized and constantly visible (319). The subject is never sure when and if they are being observed at all, leaving their ideals to self regulate and unconsciously become their own guardians. This surveillance objectifies the subjects in the cells, categorizes them and creates new social norms resulting from fear of being caught acting out of line. Foucault used the plague as a good example of how in everyday life the Panopticon's principles of power could come into effect if the norms of society were taken away and one power monitored your every action. He believed that the Panopticon and the plague were two of the same and yet different. One was an evil natural disaster while the other broke people down artificially for the sole purpose to gain power. Nevertheless, both resulted in a knowledge that controlled society and subjects that conformed to the government's new power almost instantly. The Panopticon was not only used as a form of punishment but also served as a laboratory; it could be used to carry out experiments, to alter behavior, to train or correct individuals (323). The Panopticon could test procedures, and change the behavior of the inmates because it had no social factors to affect the deviant behaviors in the people held within. It tried out the most effective forms of punishment and reward while teaching different techniques in order to distinguish which one was the best. The Panopticon made perfecting the exercise of power possible. Foucault states that Panopticon presents a cruel, ingenious cage (325), meaning that although the setting may seem inhuman, it is a work of intelligence at the time and for years to come. Nevertheless, Foucault recognized that the panoptic mechanism is not simply a hinge, a point of exchange between a mechanism of power and a function; it's a way of making power relations function, and making a function function through these power relations. (326). Many will view Foucault's Panopticism experiment as cruel and unnecessary, nevertheless the inmates in the Panopticon act as subjects of experiments to test more sufficient ways of labor, medicine, and ways of teaching that are helping our future by creating knowledge of a normlessness world and the power that could find how to completely eradicate deviance and deter the social factors that influence these behaviors. Today, in our society, most people take social factors that influence our actions for granted. Foucault believes that each man is a product of his society, and without society, there is no person. This means the knowledge that we possess as a society indirectly and without our recognition controls our actions and alters our knowledge. According to the sociologist, Sutherland, his theory of Differential Association states that not all people will experience the same personal and social conditions because criminal behavior is learned through interactions with others principally in intimate groups. Any person has the possibility to become more delinquent when there is an excess of definitions favorable for the deviant to break the law. When a person is in complete solitude and constant surveillance in the Panopticon, there is no chance to learn deviant behavior and constant surveillance that would deter criminal acts because of higher risks of being caught. Today, for example, when adolescents are in high school they are less likely to skip class when they know

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