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A hypothetical prison proposed by Jeremy Bentham, having circular tiers of cells surrounding a central observation tower.

[Earlier, a peepshow device used to exhibit pictures : pan- + Greek optikon, neuter of optikos, optic; see optic.]


1. a round prison in which all cells are visible from the centre point
2. archaic an optical instrument enabling wide views of cities
3. archaic an exhibition room


(pænˈɒp tɪˌkɒn)

a building, as a prison or library, so arranged that all parts of the interior are visible from a single point.
[1760–70; pan- + Greek optikón sight, seeing (neuter of optikós; see optic)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.panopticon - an area where everything is visible
area - a part of a structure having some specific characteristic or function; "the spacious cooking area provided plenty of room for servants"
saleroom, salesroom, showroom - an area where merchandise (such as cars) can be displayed; "in Britain a showroom is called a salesroom"
2.panopticon - a circular prison with cells distributed around a central surveillance station; proposed by Jeremy Bentham in 1791
prison, prison house - a correctional institution where persons are confined while on trial or for punishment
References in periodicals archive ?
Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, in particular, is an example of a system of carceral punishment that avoids physical abuse, but it would likely result in troubling psychological consequences for those detained within.
But there are other, lesser-told tales about Bob Dylan at the Piping Centre, Scarlett Johanssen in the Panopticon and an unlikely yarn about Russ Abbott in the east end.
Back in the late 1800s, it was not uncommon for the crowds at Glasgow's Britannia Panopticon to throw rivets, nails and even horse manure at the performers.
This essay considers Jenni Fagan's The Panopticon (2012) as a contemporary Scottish gothic novel that unearths and depicts the systematic demonisation and dehumanisation of characters, such as vulnerable children in care.
Panopticon," in The Panopticon Writings, edited by Miran Bozovic [London: Verso], p.
The Panopticon concept occupies the field of surveillance studies for many years and it has represented one of the most powerful metaphors in modern "disciplinary" societies (Farinosi, 2011).
Arguably, the whole public space becomes a Kemalist Panopticon as far as the bureaucrats are concerned.
Liberation can come internally when a person goes against what the panopticon tries to stop them from doing.
And additionally, in a footnote: 'Ibagiya would have operated, in terms of its structure, location, and discourse, in a similar way to the panopticon described by Foucault (1979), (8) which "ideally", produced subjectivity, through the control of discourse and nondiscursive space.
These new additions to Datawatch's Solutions Catalog include the first solution blueprints developed by Datawatch business partners, as well as the first Datawatch solutions that provide real-time capabilities through the newly acquired Panopticon visualization technology.
Because of the highly embeddable nature of the Panopticon technology, in just three months, we've completed the integration and raised the bar on the visual data discovery market, by providing our customers the most powerful and feature-rich desktop platform for next generation analytics in the data visualization market," said Jon Pilkington, vice president of Products for Datawatch.
of Leeds, England), who has long been writing on the topic of surveillance and the concept of the panopticon, and Lyon (sociology, Queen's U.