Scared Crows in the Panopticon

kevenbartle's Blog

I love the notion of the panopticon as a metaphor for contemporary society. Or rather, I hate the notion of the panopticon as a metaphor for contemporary society, but love teaching it to my Y13 Sociology students and am utterly fascinated by it.

For the uninitiated, the panopticon was a prison designed by Jeremy Bentham in the late-1700s, which is described by Wikipedia thus:


And thus:


The building’s design looks like this:


And how this looks in reality can be seen here:


The reason why I teach it as part of the AQA Crime & Deviance module is in relation to the work of Foucault, who says:


If you’re interested in more the full article can be found here.

But this post isn’t intended to be a philosophical musing upon the nature of contemporary society, nor is it intended to be a sociology lesson. Instead, following a series of…

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