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The Analysis of The Article "Panopticism" by Foucault Michael

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In the article “Panopticism in discipline and punish,” by Foucault Michael. The author objective was to help really emphasize on this idea of that you were constantly being observed. He utilized the term Panopticism which gleaned from this prison idea the panoptikum. Where detainees were continually being watched through a reflective glass.

The author perceived that present day society was establishing itself based off of this idea of panopticism. In order to perpetuate order and discipline in present day society. The author utilizes precedents today like schools or just public spaces in general tend to often have cameras constantly having individuals under surveillance. Which really stresses Foucault’s main contention this idea of Panopticism. Where pan meaning all and optimism meaning seeing. Essentially translating to this idea that we are perpetually being scrutinized. Pertaining to today society where Foucault is at this point inferring that just the thought of being watched will always keep individuals in line.

This particular article really reminds me of time in my life I’d have say about my freshman year of high school. I had made my way to the local king soopers with the pure intention of stealing candy. As I made my way to the candy isle to stuff my bag skittles down my pants I had looked up to see if anyone was looking and happened to see a camera. Right at that moment I delayed and pondered internally this is wrong, Im being watched, Put it down, it’s not justified, despite any potential benefits. Eventually prompting me; leaving the bag of skittles and making my departure out the store. Which all connects to panopticism I had looked and noticed a camera but I didn’t know for certainty whether or not there was actually someone watching me, yet I still put the bag down. Only just proving the author theory that just the idea of knowing someone might be watching resulted in my conforming with order.

The “Panopticism in discipline and punish,” by Foucault Michael contrast with the article “5 Helpful Answers To Society’s Most Uncomfortable Questions,” by David Wong. The author asks a question “Are Rampant, When Even Mild Jokes About Those Things Will Ruin Your Career Now?’’ Just the thought of devastating your entire life’s work over a joke will have employers reluctant towards what they vocalize. Which Correlates to this concept of panopticism by Foucault just knowing that you could jeopardize your entire profession by expressing the wrong thing.Thus this Is how employers have maintained order and discipline within the workplace.


  1. Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984. Discipline And Punish : the Birth of the Prison.
  2. New York :Pantheon Books, 1977. Print.
  3. Wong, David. “5 Helpful Answers To Society’s Most Uncomfortable Questions.”

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The Analysis Of The Article “Panopticism” By Foucault Michael. (2020, January 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 22, 2022, from
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