Foucault’s concept of panopticism describes a form of power and control based on constant surveillance and the internalization of discipline.
One way panopticism has been embedded in our society is through the proliferation of surveillance technologies. CCTV cameras, facial recognition software, and other monitoring forms are commonplace in many public spaces, workplaces, and homes. The ubiquity of these technologies means that we are constantly under observation, even when we are not aware of them, to be honest. This has led to a culture of self-surveillance, where we modify our behavior to conform to societal norms and expectations.
The rise of social media has also contributed to the panoptic gaze. Through social media, we create and curate versions of ourselves that are often designed to be seen and judged by others. As a result, we engage in self-policing and self-discipline, seeking to conform to social norms and expectations to avoid criticism from others.
Another way in which panopticism has been embedded in our society is through the use of standardized testing and evaluation in education and the workplace. The constant monitoring and assessment of our performance through tests, grades, and evaluations create a sense of discipline and control, as we know that our performance is constantly evaluated and judged.
Both these practices create a sense of discipline and control, as individuals are aware that their performance is being constantly evaluated and judged, leading to self-discipline and conformity. The panoptic gaze has become a pervasive and insidious form of power, shaping our behavior and self-perception in often invisible ways. It is important to be aware of these forms of power and to critically examine how they operate in our society to resist and challenge their effects on our lives.