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Which clippings match 'Discipline And Punishment' keyword pg.1 of 1
30 NOVEMBER 2013

Confiscation Cabinets: an exhibition of confiscated childhood objects

"Artist Guy Tarrant's display cabinets show artefacts gleaned from 150 different London primary and secondary schools over three decades. These objects include homemade games, keepsakes, cult toys, peculiar adornments, weapons and other forbidden objects which characterise the flotsam and jetsam of contemporary school children.

Since qualifying as a teacher, Guy Tarrant has investigated pupil interaction, play and resistant behaviour. The objects in the cabinets highlight mischievous and distracted behaviour played out in the controlled school setting where children spend much of their time. These confiscated items are evidence of the pupils' playful and impulsive activities and how they may reject or evade rules."

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TAGS

ad-hoc • adornments • artefactsauthoritychildhood imagination • confiscated items • Confiscation Cabinets • confiscation drawer • controlcontrolled environments • cult toys • cultural significance of objectsdiscipline and punishmentdistracting attentiondistracting behaviourDIYfad • flotsam and jetsam • forbidden objects • Guy Tarrant • homemade bombs • homemade gamesimprovisation • impulsive activities • intriguing objects • keepsake • makeshiftmaterial culturemischievous behaviour • Museum of Childhood • personal cultural production • personal objects • plastic toysplayful activitiesprimary schoolpunishmentregulationresistant behaviourrulesschool children • school setting • secondary schoolsocial interactionsubversive actionssymbolic controltoy • toy guns • V and Aweapons

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
04 OCTOBER 2005

Regulation through discourses/practices

"The prison operates through the production of norms to divide the population into prisoners and non–prisoners. Since the goal of the prison is to return prisoners to the status of non–prisoners, there must be a criterion, one carefully and comprehensively elaborated, to recognise the non–prisoner, the prisoner, and the developmental stages in the change from the one to the other. There must also be a detailed regimen to effectuate the change. There must finally be a method or system of keeping track of the change in each prisoner. Foucault borrows from Bentham the term Panopticon (one who sees all) to denote the entire apparatus of defining the norm, disciplining the negative term, observing the change from the negative to the positive and studying the whole process so that it can be perfected. But there is a difference. For Bentham the Panopticon was an artifice that deflected the criminal's mind from the irrationality of transgression to the rationality of the norm. It imposed social authority on the prisoner in a constant, total manner. The prisoner's actions could be monitored by guards at any time but without his ever knowing it. The prisoner would, in Rousseau's phrase, be forced to be free. With no escape or reprieve from the Panoptical eye, the prisoner would accept the authority of the norm with its rational system of pleasures and pains. For Foucault the task is to see the system as an imposition of a structure of domination, not as a rational, humanist intention. As we know, the Panopticon, evaluated on the standards of liberal and Benthamite theory, is a failure. Foucault's aim is to grasp the workings of the Panopticon outside the liberal framework: if it does not reform prisoners, what does it do? What are the effects of the social text of the prison, of Panoptical discourse? His argument is that the prison, in the context of a liberal capitalist society that celebrates the anarchy of the marketplace, the chaos of free monads pursuing infinite wants, the rationality of the unhindered subject – the prison in this world imposes the technology of power, the 'micropolitics' of the norm. In capitalist society, regulation takes the form of discourses/practices that produce and reproduce the norm. The school, the asylum, the factory, the barracks to greater or lesser degrees and with considerable variation all imitate the Panopticon. In modern society power is imposed not by the personal presence and brute force of a caste of nobles as it was in earlier times but by the systematic scribblings in discourses, by the continual monitoring of daily life, adjusting and readjusting ad in finitum the norm of individuality. Modern society may be read as a discourse in which nominal freedom of action is canceled by the ubiquitous look of the other. It may be interpreted semiologically as a field of signs in which the metadiscourse of the Panopticon is reimposed everywhere, even in places in which it is not installed. We may suggest that the free individual requires a repressed other, a sort of external super–ego, an absent father if only to guarantee his or her freedom."

(Mark Poster pp.90–91)

Poster, Mark. 1990 The Mode of Information: Poststructuralism and Social Context, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. ISBN: 0745603262

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asylumauthority • barracks • biopolitical power relationscapitalismcontrolcultural normsdisciplinediscipline and punishmentdiscoursedominationfactoryJeremy Bentham • liberal capitalist society • Mark Poster • metadiscourse • Michel Foucaultmonadmonitoringnormspanopticonpracticeprisonprisonerpunishmentregulationrulesschoolsocial normsthe other
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