Panopticism and Society 

The idea of a panoptic institution is a building that is designed in such a way that the inhabitants are constantly being watched. This constant surveillance is done in such a way where the persons who are being watched are unaware, they are currently being watched. This concept is extremely invasive, people will have this overbearing feeling that they are being watched and do not have the freedom to be themselves. Because of this, the people who are being watched will inherently behave in the way which is deemed correct by the watcher. This feeling or belief that you have to behave a particular way because you don’t know if you’re being watched is panopticism. I believe that this concept is embedded into the Greek culture at HBCU’s.  I say this because the National Pan Hellenic Council, or the NPHC for short, are very respected and secretive group of organizations that have a very strong hold within HBCU’s. The process to enter these organizations are somewhat secretive. The portions that are common knowledge include, being discrete with the organization you are interested in, do your research about them, and get to know the members of the organization. The thing is with this, once the prospective member is noticed by the current members, they are being watched by that organization. Their entire social media and social lives are being looked at and over by a number of people, without the perspective member being aware. Prospective members want to be a part of the organization, so they will act in a way where they think will make them more appealing to the organization.  This person is unaware when and where they will be observed, but they know subconsciously that they are indeed being watched. Therefore, the process and the culture of getting into a black Greek organization is a definite example of panopticism.

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