The Link to the article: ( http://dm.ncl.ac.uk/courseblog/files/2011/03/michel-foucault-panopticism.pdf )
1-Please read the article because the the essay question is based on that article.
2- The Question: Perhaps the most surprising thing about Foucault’s argument in “Panopticism”is the way it equates prisons with schools, hospitals, and work places, sites we are accustomed to imagining as very different from a prison. Foucault argues against our commonly accepted understanding of such things.
At the end of the chapter Foucault asks two questions, strategically placed at the end. Presumably we are prepared o feel their force and to think of possible answers.
“Is it surprising that the cellular prison, with its regular chronologies, forced labor, its authorities of surveillance and registration, its experts in normality, who continue and multiply the functions of the judge, should have become the modern instrument of penalty? Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons? (p. 309)”
For this assignment, take the invitation of Foucault’s conclusion. No, you want to respond, it is not surprising that “experts in normality, who continue and multiply the functions of the judge, should have become the modern instrument of penalty.” No, it is not surprising that “prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons.”
Why isn’t it surprising? Or, why isn’t it surprising if you are thinking along with Foucault?
Write an essay in which you explore one of these possible resemblances. You may, if you choose, cite Foucault. You can certainly pick up some of his key terms or examples and put them into play. You should imagine, however, that it is your turn. With your work on Foucault behind you, you are writing to a general audience about “experts in normality” and the key sites of surveillance and control.
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