For our final blog post of the semester we were asked read Discipline & Punish. Along with reading this we were to reflect about our experience with the class this semester and talk about how discipline, control, punish, and surveille can be used in any three of the topic areas that were discussed in class over the course of the semester. These topic areas include: interpersonal, visual rhetoric, propaganda, and mediated. I have chosen the terms control and punishment and will discuss how they are incorporated in the three topic areas. Control is what is used people try to get you to do something. Punishment is the result in which someone has done something wrong. I will use these terms and talk about how they are used in the unit areas of propaganda, visual rhetoric, and interpersonal communication.
Control is used in this area even in todays society. One thing that was asked was how does propaganda encourage you to do something. One example of a piece of propaganda I can think of right off the bat is a propaganda poster from World War II saying “Loose Lips Might Sink Ships.” Now what is meant by this poster is that if someone were to speak loosely about where their family members or just soldiers in general were stationed at and where they are planning to go that a enemy spy could pick it up and report it to their superior about where and what we are planning to do. As a result for this action we were punished with the death of our soldiers or in the case of the poster sinking of U.S. ships. There are two types of punishment used here. One is the death of our soldiers at the cost of U.S. citizens speaking loosely of classified information and second is either the loss of a loved one or being punished by the U.S. government. Another example of control and punishment in propaganda would be in the media. The media tries to control us by posting their comments or views on a situation and our response to it is who do we think is watching us. An example of control here would be you are friends with your grandmother on Facebook so whatever you put on there you want it to be nice and something that your grandmother would approve . However, she is not friends with you on Snapchat so for you its free game on there and you put whatever you want to. Punishment here would be that your grandmother sees what you said or did on one of these networks and you get yelled at or disciplined by her at home.
This is the process in which we use verbal and non-verbal cues in our everyday lives to speak with other people. Control is used in non-verbal communication is such a way as when we were young and were about to do something or were thinking about doing something that we knew we weren’t supposed to we would get a look from our parents. Everyone knew what that certain look was and knew if you got it you better stop what you were about to do otherwise you were going to get in trouble. Now when it comes to punishment it was hard to think of an example in today’s society as more than likely kids hardly get punished anymore as people tend to think of it as child abuse. To find an example of how punishment can be used in interpersonal communication I had to think back to the late 1800s to when one-room schoolhouse’s were in existence. A one-room schoolhouse is exactly what it sounds. It was just a one room building where students had all of their classes. When students got in trouble it was usually because the child was breaking a rule or behaving improperly. The child was then placed in the corner at the front of the classroom. Space and territory were used to punish the child as they were taken from their seat away from their classmates. Along with being taken away from the rest of their classmates they are put in the front of the room where the other children could see them and also make fun of them.
Visual Rhetoric is a form of communication that uses images to create meaning or construct an argument. Control can be used with visual rhetoric in a way to stop people from doing certain things. What I mean by that is now a days smoking is not allowed in any restaurant and if there is smoking there are special sections made just for that purpose only. Most restaurants have signs either outside or on the walls as you walk inside that say “No Smoking.” The people that own that establishment are trying to control the people from being able to smoke by being considerate of others that don’t want to have to breathe in other peoples smoke. Along with trying to control the people by using these types of signs punishment is also used. Depending on what people are trying to control and how serious the law is some signs will have signs underneath them showing what kind of punishment would happen if the law was to be broken. One example I can think of this would be a handicap parking sign. Usually, the sign will say Handicap Parking and below it on a separate sign will show what the punishment is for a first and second offense if someone who was not handicapped were to park there.
Jowett, G., & O’Donnell, V. (2012). Propaganda and persuasion. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
“PROPAGANDA POSTERS AT A GLANCE:” The National WWII Museum | New Orleans: Learn: For Students: WWII at a Glance: Propaganda Posters of WWII, http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/at-a-glance/propaganda-posters.html.