In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power

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Title In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power
Publication Type Book
Pub Year 1988
Authors Zuboff, S.
Publisher Basic Books
Keywords control, discipline, panopticism, power, psychic prison
Notes control, discipline"Techniques of control in the workplace became increasingly important as the body became the central problem of production. The early industrial employers needed to regulate, direct, constrain, anchor, and channel bodily energies for the purposes of sustained, often repetitive, productive activity. Still struggling to establish their legitimate authority, they invented techniques designed to control the laboring body. The French historian Michel Foucault has argued that these new techniques of industrial management laid the groundwork for a new kind of society, a 'disciplinary society', one in which bodily discipline, regulation, and surveillance are taken for granted." (p. 319) psychic prison"Bentham's extensive plans for reform of prison management created both controversy and interest within the British Parliament. Though his management proposals were not implemented, the central principle of continuous observation made possible by technical arrangements was to influence the administrative and architectural orientation of bureaucratic organizations from schools, to hospitals, to workplaces in which individuals are taken up as unique problems to be managed and measured up against appropriate norms:"
Panopticism is the general principle of a new 'political anatomy' whose object and end are not the relations of sovereignty but the relations of discipline....What are required are mechanisms that analyze distributions, gaps, series, combinations, and which use instruments that render visible, record, differentiate and compare....It is polyvalent in its application....Whenever one is dealing with a multiplicity of individuals on whom a task or a particular form of behavior must be imposed, the panoptic schema may be used.
(p. 322)
panopticism"Techniques of control and the panoptic power they convey offer one such alternative. Information systems can alter many of the classic contingencies of the superior-subordinate relationship, providing certain information about the subordinates' behavior while eliminating the necessity of face-to-face engagement. They can transmit the presence of the omniscient observer and so induce compliance without the messy conflict-prone exertions of reciprocal relations." (p. 323)
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