Sociology and John Berger Essay

Submitted By theasianmo
Words: 1090
Pages: 5

The two sides of control are ultimately expressed in Paul Focualto’s “Pantonicism” and John Berger’s “Ways Of Seeing.” The internal and external ways of controlling are presented by the two authors who seemingly complementing each other in their ways of writing, although they differ on views regarding on class placement, and social standards, they both believe that society has a certain set of unchangeable rules that we all need to follow. Berger’s and Foucault’s theories of power show some similarities, but are more different than alike. As both theories use the concept of “vision” as a box to contain the mass, Berger in a way expresses his concern for society by referencing ideas of unseen forces of control, while Foucult gives insight on the mind games that are played in society. The two types of powers are displayed miraculous in both articles, and it gives the audience a chilling sense in which society is being controlled.
Michel Foucault, in his article, “discipline & punishment” (1975) argues the idea that the masses are controlled by fear, and that “discipline in an unseen way, acts as a tool for the hierarchy to control the society.” Disciplinary power is exemplified by Bentham's Panopticon, a building that shows how individuals can be supervised and controlled efficiently, the towers act as a method of control and just by seeing the tower, the citizens within its borders are stricken with terror, simply out of fear for what could be inside the tower. Unlike Foucult, John Berger, in his essay “ways of seeing” argues that the masses are controlled by ignorance, and that “the way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe.” Foucult would not believe the citizens are in fear because of what might happen, he might argue that the fear is caused the ignorance of what people don’t understand, the tower itself doesn’t serve a much greater purpose then just a building raised above the others. The fear comes out of the ignorance of the masses; panicking at a unknown source of power that is seemingly there because they believe the tower can harm them. Through sight, our own emotions and opinions seem to be changed accordingly, almost controlled; being instinctively toyed within our own minds. Berger compares his examples to art, more specifically sculptures and images, in his theory of control. Since sculptures and images focus on the sight aspect, his main arguments seem to connect with Foucault’s: sight can be used as a form of power. However, that is where the similarities stop. Berger doesn’t view “sight” as a form of power that is used actively, by using it as a trap; he believes that “sight” is used more as a supervisor, a distorter.
The various views on power separate the two authors, Foculat, and Berger into different ends of the spectrum. In a way, both of these authors can be seen as power-centered philosophers of their time, they came up with different methods of seeing and viewing society as a whole. In a sense, the arguments that differ Foucault from Berger are the internal and external concept of power. Foucault believed in the psychological dominance of the mind, while Berger believed in the limited ability as the reason that hindered us from doing what we want. Both authors tend to foreshadow the systematic subjection of society in their articles; while differing in the methods that they predict will be the cause. Foculate believed that many of the control methods used today were recycled usages of power; the ways of control have simply been reshaped and industrialized to fit our standards.Fouculte’s view on society focused on the control of the masses by hierarchy of some sort. He believed that every system of government has a “functional condition”, “technique” and “purposes” in order to impose its control on its citizens Berger on the other hand believed that we are control under ignorance, we fear the unknown so we let whichever forces control us. Berger believed that all humans are…