– Biopower

Below are key terms, phrases and sentences that I derived from the lecture about Biopower.


– It is the idea of body

– Idea of control and power

– Systems of control = historical control and to enforce control a law can be proposed.

– Bentham – he was a reformer.

– Panopticon was a design of a prison.

“The design consists of a circular structure with an “inspection house” at its centre, from which the managers or staff of the institution are able to watch the inmates, who are stationed around the perimeter. Bentham conceived the basic plan as being equally applicable to hospitals, schools, poorhouses, and madhouse, but he devoted most of his efforts to developing a design for a Panopticon prison, and it is his prison which is most widely understood by the term.”

 Wikipedia. 2012. Panopticon. [ONLINE] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon. [Accessed 03 February 12].

– Panopticism – always being visible whether watched or not. It is a way of control.

Michael Foucault a philosopher – Discipline + Punish

“people will not break rules because there is an assumption they are being watched.”

Panopticism allows one group to control another.

How can you avoid panopticism?

– travellers

– homeless people

– illegal immigrants

– Biopower works on the assumption everyone can be controlled.

– Biopower looks at everyone not just two bodies.

– Biopower control does not come from above, but everyone. We all control one another. It is based on the ‘good of society’ as a group concept about the protection of life not the threat of death.

– The media is biopolitical. The media has an influence on society.

– iPhone, Facebook and X-Box Live are all biopolitical technology.

– Biopower may be politics without the structure of politics.

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