Disciplinary Power in The School: Panoptic Surveillance

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Çeven G., Korumaz M., Ömür Y. E.

Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research, vol.16, no.1, pp.153-171, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Journal Name: Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research
  • Journal Indexes: ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • Page Numbers: pp.153-171
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The curiosity on how disciplinary power operates in a secondary school in the context of Panoptic

surveillance became our motive. We designed the study as a single case study in qualitative approach

to grasp the holistic understanding of disciplinary power, surveillance, and resistance to it in a

secondary school. The data were obtained by a set of data collection techniques including a focus

group interview, semi-structured interviews, observation and document analysis. The content analysis

method was employed to analyze the collected data. In the analysis, we identified the themes of

forced docility, norm provider, and reflection on discipline. To the findings, the main disciplinary

power practice in this school is surveillance on appearances, behaviors, and exams, and the students

prefer reacting to surveillance practices in two ways: either normalizing their behaviors or displaying

resistance and insisting on the undesired behaviors. For further research, the relation between power,

surveillance, and resistance can be analyzed as multiple case study to compare the findings at

different types of school.