Journal article

Public health surveillance and the media: a dyad of panoptic and synoptic social control

27 May 2015
Description

This paper examines how Foucault's (1979) concept of the panopticon coexists in a dyadic relationship of social control with the system of the contemporary mass media – the “synopticon” (Mathiesen, 1997), and the relevance and significance of this dyad of social control to public health.

We consider its application in the examination of several public health issues, including motherhood and gambling, and we extend Mathiesen's work to include consideration of newer interactive forms of mass media and social media and demonstrate how these contribute to this social control, again examining this in the context of public health issues and campaigns, such as alcohol and smoking, as well as noting that newer media formats may present opportunities for resistance.

We explain how this theoretical concept might be used more generally in consideration of public health research and interventions.

Publication Details
Volume: 
3
Issue: 
1
Access Rights Type: 
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Published year only: 
2015
128
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