Gaines, Stephen. and Lepadatu, Darina. “Revisiting Michel Foucault and His Contributions to Social Theory” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Atlanta and Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA, Aug 13, 2010
Under the method of genealogical study and philosophical analysis, the Panopticon has become for the past thirty years an iconic idea presented by Michel Foucault to better understand the society in which we live today. The source of the transition from sovereignty to nonviolent coercion, the panoptic model challenges us to think of its relevance for the analysis of socialization and social control, major concepts of Sociology as a discipline. Although Foucault is considered a leading European intellectual, his theory was rarely applied to inform empirical research in American sociology. This paper will emphasize the relevance of Foucauldian concepts such as Panoptic gaze and surveillance or knowledge as power to the analysis of social organizations: prison, schools, corporations, Internet behavior etc. Following this paper, research will be taken in the form of participant observation to further this little known understanding in the present American climate, and even contribute to Foucauldian theory collectively.