The analysis we have pursued in this Module has suggested the following: That the model of panoptic surveillance, which Michel Foucault presented in Discipline and Punish, has been fully realized (to a degree that he could never have anticipated) in the surveillance capitalism of today that is analyzed by Shoshona Zuboff. To what extent do you think this analysis is correct? What (if any) problems or limitations do you see in fully associating the activity of today’s social media (and other online) corporate giants with the panoptic surveillance/disciplinary mechanisms analyzed by Foucault (and which he associated with power more generally in modern society)? If you are persuaded by the argument linking these two analyses, be sure to take account of some of the obvious differences between them (i.e. the fact that Foucault’s ‘discipline’ is externally imposed by some institutional authority – prisons, asylums, reformatories, schools, clinics – whereas participation in social media is a matter of seemingly voluntary consumer choice). If you are not persuaded by the argument linking Zuboff’s surveillance capitalism with Foucault’s panoptic discipline, then how else would you explain the extraordinary power and wealth that today’s social media corporations currently enjoy?

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