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Reading Culture - Essay Example

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Sur Lecturer Date John Berger, Laura Kipnis and Michele Foucault's essay In Michael Foucault essay Panopticism, he asserts that the structure of Panopticon demonstrates the power within the structure of our society. The Panopticon is a prison design whose layout is large and circular, with individual cells along the edge of the room in which the prisoners are detained…
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Reading Culture
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Download file to see previous pages According to Foucault, this is so effective and in fact the guard does not have to always be present. Foucault argues using this illusion that the structure of power in the society resembles the one existing at the Panopticon. She continues to assert that the power of control the manner in which society acts originates from institution formation. The formed institutions then form kinds of behaviors considered wrong or right. As people are raised and age, they learn the norms of the institutions and remain vigilant not to go against them. From this, people have a perception that there is one empowered authoritative figure that exercises agency over the general society. But just like Panopticon that does not need a guard to be present to remain effective, the society institutions do not need an empowered authoritative figure. In essence, all members of the society act as authority since everyone indicate the significance of following the institutional norms by performing them. In fact Foucault asserts that there is no need any longer for an empowered authoritative figure since the society system is already set, there is the presence of illusion. In his essay, Foucault continues to say that power continues due to the application of discipline. She explains hat discipline is a technique used in exercising power. We can therefore say that discipline is basically a tool that is used to allow continuation of or strengthen power. People fear violating the norms and rules not just because they were generated by something or someone with power, but they are afraid to do so because they know that violating the norms and rules would make them victims of disciplinary sanction. John Berger in his essay Ways of seeing, Berger argues that the manner in which people perceive or view art is personally dictated by them, but by those who are seen as the experts and elites of art. This is an illustration of Panopticism in that most people perceive art in the manner in which an assumed authority informs them. In his essay, Berger demonstrates the way in which catalogues of art emphasize the significance of the background information that is identified with the art work rather than the factual meaning of art itself. He continues to say that art catalogues do not deal with the image meaning, but rather deals with the people who had the painting commissioned, the likely date of the art, the legal squabbles, people who own the art, and the families of the owners of the art. This means that the perceived experts of art only focus on the painting’s background information basically to have the painting assessed. This is because these perceived art experts writing the catalogues are also the perceived institution authorities by majority of people. Hence, just like Panopticon, people look at art the way they feel subject authority would prefer them to perceive it. Berger’s work demonstrates the power exhibited by an empowered authoritative figure in the system of Panopticon. However, the art critics and elites that he refers to in his writing do not simply hold power for reasons of being perceived as the authority. Power and authority are, through the use of discipline, demonstrated. The writings of Laura Kipnis expound the idea of Panopticism and demonstrate the manner in whi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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