Greenwell, Matthew J.
Toppins, Augusta R.; Buffington, Ron L.; Evans, Randy
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
A panopticon—the ideal mechanism for surveillance and control—has become embedded in our smartphones and our web browsers. It now pervades the fabric of approximately 890 million daily lives. It is called Facebook. This platform, on which users document their own lives in front of an audience while simultaneously surveilling the lives of their “friends,” shares startling similarities to a prison model, the Panopticon, designed in the late eighteenth-century by Jeremy Bentham, and analyzed by French philosopher, Michel Foucault. Through an analysis of Facebook’s structure and function, parallels will be suggested between the structure of Facebook and the structure of the Panopticon, as well as between strategies Facebook implements and disciplinary strategies implemented inside the Panopticon and described in Foucault’s larger discussion of the evolution of disciplines and punishments. Cultural implications of these similarities will also be addressed, especially those that arise in a Post-Snowden era in which internet-users in general, have reason to assume an overall lack of privacy and security online. Though an overall distrust may be appropriate, individuals still use social media sites and Facebook remains the dominant social media network worldwide. Thus, similarities between Facebook and the Panopticon within a larger cultural context begin to raise questions as to why individuals choose to stay in networks they may not trust and whether or not an exploitation of information given online by an individual might still elicit an adverse response.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Department of Art, Project Director: Matthew J. Greenwell, Professor of Graphic Design, Committee Examiners: Augusta R. Toppins, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Ron L. Buffington, Professor and Art Department Head, Committee Liason: Randy Evans, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management
B. F. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Facebook (Electronic resource)
Foucault, Michel, -- 1926-1984 -- Criticism and interpretation
Art and Design
Fast, Stephanie A., "Facebook | Panopticon: an analysis of Facebook and its parallels to the Foucaultian Panopticon" (2015). Honors Theses.