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The Panopticon Comes Full Circle?

  • Author(s): Schneewind, SK
  • et al.
Abstract

Foucault's potent metaphor for the modern state-society relation, the Panopticon, was taken from a proposal by Jeremy Bentham for a prison design, and has been used by scholars to understand many institutions, including the late imperial Chinese civil service examination system. Bentham credited the idea to his brother, Samuel. This article speculates that Samuel may have developed the idea based on the Chinese civil service examination compound in the first place.

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