Foucault panopticism essay

Interested in the work of Swiss psychologist Ludwig Binswanger , Foucault aided family friend Jacqueline Verdeaux in translating his works into French. Foucault was particularly interested in Binswanger's studies of Ellen West who, like himself, had a deep obsession with suicide, eventually killing herself. [47] In 1954, Foucault authored an introduction to Binswanger's paper "Dream and Existence", in which he argued that dreams constituted "the birth of the world" or "the heart laid bare", expressing the mind's deepest desires. [48] That same year, Foucault published his first book, Mental Illness and Personality ( Maladie mentale et personalité ), in which he exhibited his influence from both Marxist and Heideggerian thought, covering a wide range of subject matter from the reflex psychology of Pavlov to the classic psychoanalysis of Freud. Referencing the work of sociologists and anthropologists such as Émile Durkheim and Margaret Mead , he presented his theory that illness was culturally relative. [49] Biographer James Miller noted that while the book exhibited "erudition and evident intelligence", it lacked the "kind of fire and flair" which Foucault exhibited in subsequent works. [50] It was largely critically ignored, receiving only one review at the time. [51] Foucault grew to despise it, unsuccessfully attempting to prevent its republication and translation into English. [52]

A wooden Panopticon factory, capable of holding 5000 workers, was constructed by Samuel Bentham in Saint Petersburg , on the banks of the Neva River , between 1805 and 1808: its purpose was to educate and employ young men in trades connected with the navy. It burned down in 1818. [39] The Round Mill in Belper , Derbyshire, England, is supposed to have been built on the Panopticon principle with a central overseer. Designed by William Strutt , and constructed in 1811, it had fallen into disuse by the beginning of the 20th century and was demolished in 1959. [40] The Worcester State Hospital , Massachusetts, USA, constructed in the late 19th century, extensively employed panoptic structures to allow more efficient observation of the wards. It was considered a model facility at the time.

Foucault panopticism essay

foucault panopticism essay


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