The Role of Panopticism in Foucault’s Theory of Power

“So widespread is the literature on the panopticon that the very mention of the term in conferences immediately leads scholars to roll their eyes in boredom” – wrote Gilbert Caluya in his study, promoting a post-panoptic society in its title, more than 10 years ago. The statement only denoted the process in social theory of the past decades about overcoming Foucault’s theory of power and his concept of panopticism, which the appearance of social media only underlined even more, according to critics. However, the relevance of Foucault’s theory of power is given by his recognition of psychologization of power. According to his findings, power today is aimed at the creation of subjects, i.e. through its procedures and methods, it promotes the creation of useful souls in order to maintain its self-movement. According to Foucault’s original intention, the Panopticon, which illustrates a new type of power, is nothing more than a symbol of the social organization principle with independent methods, procedures and institutions belonging to the socio-cultural order that emerged in the 18th century and the accompanying capitalist economic system. 
Panopticism is aimed at creating identities that ensure its survival – nowadays through social media.

Megjelent: Replika 129, 65–85.