Our 2nd assignment is a practice in absorbing and thinking through theories, connections, analogies, and considering tensions and counter arguments.
We focus on the panopticon notion as discussed by Bentham and Foucault. Your task is to write a paper, in which you – via the sub-questions below – present and discuss the key aspects of the panopticon structure and how it might inform our thinking about current surveillance practices.
Write a paper that answer ALL the following sub-questions:
1. Explain Bentham’s idea of a “panopticon” building. Make sure you link the aspects of the architecture to functions as envisions by Bentham. Further explain how he sees this building as bringing safety & efficiency to prisons & other institutions such as schools?
2. Foucaultagrees that the panopticonrepresents an incredible tool of power.
1. Discuss his analysis of the coredisciplinary function of the panopticon. Why does he think it would be effective way of getting submissive subjects even without force.How does the asymmetry visibility relate to an asymmetry of power?
2. Foucault also agrees that it is applicable to nearly any purpose, including the perfection of the panoptic mechanism itself through experimentation. Describe & discuss this “laboratorium” function. How is this different from the core disciplinary function?
(In these discussions use at least 3 formulations/passages from Foucault’s text)
3. Can safety, efficiency & “good behavior” justify a panoptic surveillance “machine”?Discuss somespecific worries that one might have. (Mill might be useful here)
4. Do you think that we in some ways are living in a society-wide panopticon today? (Be specific and explain why/why not/in which respects/what is different)
If you prefer to write a paper on the Panopticon but with a different outline then an alternative outline must be approved by Oct. 23rd
PROCESS ADVICE -HOW TO WRITE A GOOD PAPER
o Think about the topic and read the assignment task very carefully.
o Take notes. Brainstorm. What are you asked to do? Do you understand the text and the task? What are the key points you what to make?
• Seek help – before the paper is due!
o Tutoring, office hours, friends etc. If you have difficulties let others help – but not in the last minute.
• Read & write, re-read & re-write:
o Invest mental energy and give yourself time.Do not ever write a paper in one sitting!
o Read and take notes with assignment in mind/hand.
o Think, write, at first allow yourself freedom, don’t try to get it right in the first draft.
o Then begin to re-write and find out what your main points are and where the difficulties are.
o Re-read relevant passages from your sources.
o Don’t be afraid to delete, change your mind, and reshuffle your argument.
• Thesis statement, structure & title:
o Think about and explicitly state what the overall thesis of your paper is.
o Make sure each section of your paper builds towards your overall argument. Your paper should be cohesive and consistent. Do not contradict yourself.
o Give your paper a title that reflects the contents.
o These things might best be done in retrospect – after you have written the main paper sections.
• Re-read &Polish:
o Read the paper aloud! (Preferably to someone else but otherwise to yourself).
o Edit, use spell and grammar check.
o Make sure all sources are cited.