Foucault And Bentham 's Theory Of Power Essay
Thesis Statement: Yes, Foucault 's analysis of power within institutions is a very persuasive and symbolic set of arguments, specifically his description of Bentham’s Panopticon, and the significance that power plays on modern society. In this essay, I will argue that in numerous institutions even today use tools to modify our behavior, surveillance with respect to Bentham’s Panopticon, the history of the soul, and the prison correlating to society.
Introduction: Foucault begins by analyzing the situation before the eighteenth century, when public executions such as Damien 's crime of regicide and torture was part of most criminal investigations. Punishment was ceremonial and directed at the prisoner’s body because it was a ritual in which the audience was important. Therefore, public execution reestablished the authority and power of the king.
Supporting Idea #1: Surveillance and behavior modification (i.e. Bentham’s Panopticon) Foucault describes Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, a building with a tower at the center from which it is possible to see each cell in which a prisoner or student is incarcerated, which visibility is a trap. Each individual is seen but cannot communicate with the warders or other prisoners. Furthermore, the panopticon induces a sense of permanent visibility that ensures the functioning of power. The prisoner can always see the tower but never knows from where he is being observed. The panopticon…