Kaitlin’s Discipline and Punishment

For my final blog post I will be talking about punishment and Control. The three categories that I will be talking about are interpersonal, propaganda, and mediated. In the article we read about Damiens, we seen the more severe types of punishments. For example, in the beginning we read about how his skin was torn off him, and then he was hooked up to horses and they tried to pull him apart (Discipline and Punishment). In today’s society however, we have less severe punishments. According to Webster’s dictionary, punishment can be defined as, “suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution” (Webster’s). We see many different forms of punishments depending on what we did to deserve the punishment. We then read part of the book that had to do with Control. The control part is basically all about how people make us do things in our everyday lives. According to Webster’s dictionary, control is the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.” People are controlled every day in many different ways.


1.Interpersonal- An example of interpersonal communication and punishment is when a child does something bad and is told to go sit in timeout. When the child is in timeout, you then sit very close to them face to face and tell them what they did wrong. You have invaded their personal space as a form of punishment. According to Exploring Psychology, it makes people uncomfortable to be within 0-1.5 feet of someone we are not intimate with (Interpersonal Distance). If you get very close to the child and tell them what they did wrong, instead of yelling across the room, they may respond to the punishment better. Interpersonal communication goes hand in hand with punishment. We can use different nonverbal queues or gestures to indicate that a punishment is going to happen. Interpersonal communication is very valuable because it indicates how someone is going to react. As a child you would then know when you are going to be punished


2. Propaganda- An example of propaganda and punishment is when women talked to their husbands during the war and information was revealed. I think that the posters then were a way to warn people that if you talk, the whole country gets punished. According to Attila Nagy, the man that wrote the article “The Best Operations Security Propaganda Posters From World War II”, these posters were used to persuade Americans and army members to support the war by keeping quiet. The punishment is portrayed via the pictures they used on the posters. The one below shows that bombs of some sort are being dropped on American soil. I think that propaganda and punishment was very valuable. It helped make the war more secretive, which then kept Americans safer.war


3. Mediated- When using all kinds of social medias, we always think about what people will think before we post it. For example, a teenage girl may not put curse word on media in fear of punishment. She may know that her parents will see it and so she refrains from doing so. The fear of punishment is what makes her rethink her decision. For example, the article “Watch What You Tweet: Schools, Censorship, and Social Media” makes a point that even schools can punish you based on what you put on social media. There was one case where a student got in trouble just for liking a tweet (Watch What You Tweet: Schools, Censorship, and Social Media). This just shows that there are many times where people get in trouble due to media. For the last part stated, I do not think that schools interfering with social media is valuable. I believe that parents should be allowed to punish children but if it happens outside of school, schools should not be involved.


  1. Interpersonal- An example of this is when you are having a conversation and maybe someone’s facial expressions seem like they are bored. They are ultimately controlling you because now you think that you have to stop the conversation because they are not interested in what you are saying. According to the article “Nonverbal Communication: Improving Your Nonverbal Skills and Reading Body Language”, the way we look, listen and react tells the other person if you care about what they are talking about (Nonverbal Communication Improving Your Nonverbal Skills and Reading Body Language). With this being said, the person that is reacting to you is essentially in control of the conversation without knowing it. If they seem excited you will continue with your conversation, but if they seem bored, you will have no reason to continue. I think this type of control actually helps in conversations. It helps the speaker know whether to keep talking or change the topic.
  2. Propaganda- Propaganda is controlling people by trying to influence their decision. For example, the no smoking propaganda that we see tries to reach out to smokers, and get them to understand what they are doing to their body. They use tv ads, posters, and other types of media to do this. This is trying to help control the smoking population. They are trying to show the negative side effects to get smokers to quit. According to Dr. Thomas Frieden, the ads have helped control smoking because smokers are shown real life examples of people that have not quit, and were willing to share their story of how they were affected (PBS News Hour). I believe that this form of control is actually helpful, and beneficial because it is helping save lives. The picture below shows one example of an anti-smoking propaganda piece. Another example can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEWky9PEroUsmoke3. Mediated- The most basic level of control when it comes to the media is parental control. Usually parents control, or try to control what their teens put on social media. Some parents are going as far as getting their own social media accounts to control what their child is putting on there. According to the article “Parent’s Guide to Protecting Teens on Social Media,” it is actually a good idea to be involved with social media so you can routinely check on your kids. Even though the kids do not agree, most parents just control social media to protect their children. The government also has control of what you put on social media. I think this is actually valuable because it helps protect individuals.


In conclusion, nonverbal communication and discipline and punishment tie together. We never really think about how they tie together, but above I have stated some examples of how interpersonal communication, mediated, and propaganda tie with control and punishment.


Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books, 1979. Print.

“Interpersonal Distance.” Exploring Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016

Nagy, Attila. “The Best Operations Security Propaganda Posters From World War II.” Gizmodo. N.p., 27 Aug. 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

“Parent’s Guide to Protecting Teens on Social Media.” Safe Search Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

Segal, Jeanne. “Nonverbal Communication.” Nonverbal Communication: Improving Your Nonverbal Skills and Reading Body Language. N.p., Nov. 2016. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

“Watch What You Tweet: Schools, Censorship, and Social Media.” National Coalition Against Censorship. N.p., 01 Nov. 2016. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

Webster’s New Standard Dictionary of the English Language including Websters Alphabetized Thesaurus and Webster’s Speller. New York: PMC Pub., 1995. Print.

“Why These Anti-smoking TV Ads Are Working.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.







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