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The panopticon is an architectural model, originally for a prison, that can be seen as a metaphor for the way in which power works. A central guard tower looks out on a circular set of prison cells, with the activities of each cell in full view of the tower. The building design produces regulatory behaviour, because whether or not there are actually guards in the tower (this cannot be seen by prisoners), the prisoners will feel that gaze upon them and regulate their behaviour accordingly.

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