March 13 soc313.docx

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22 Apr 2012
March 13, 2012 Lecture - Surveillance
- relates to day to day lives
- not always so obvious
- key to the modern nation state
- think about surveillance broadly - i.e. workers, bureaucrats, etc - all
these processes in place to monitor people and their behavior
- surveillance has always been happening but with new technology there is
a new kind of surveillance happening
- mixing of the old and the new
- surveillance is one of those things that applies to everybody
- expansion has happened for complex reasons
- not just the poor or deviants
- surveillance is something we encounter every single day
- definition of surveillance on slide in text book
- Doesn't require face to face observation - could be like a company
browsing your Facebook page
- examples: cameras now on subways or CCTV
- two types of surveillance
1. disciplinary surveillance theory - Foucault - critical and dystopic imagery
- what does the increasing amount of control have to say for identity or
privacy or peoples ability to govern themselves - control is not coercive =
surveillance works through self-regulation - i.e. Panopticism -
2. liberal surveillance theory - less negative view - sees it as a response to
changes in social and institutional order - not as critical and sees positive
aspects to it - sees surveillance as being a necessary response to the
challenges of the late modern age - idea is that we now live in these cities
and places where we don't know our neighbors anymore - not like the old
days - therefore because we dont know anyone anymore we need
surveillance because it establishes trust - globalization and
bureaucratization = surveillance challenges globalization (?) need to
establish trust - establish policies, etc - we need surveillance on one hand
but we need to balance that - there are concerns around privacy, control
over our person, etc
Metaphors of Surveillance
- Big Brother - from the book 1984 - idea that there is a Big Brother out
there monitoring you all the time - the show took the name of this - a view
ideas out of this - in the book, at the heart of it is a totalitarian state
regime - you are implicating the role of the state in surveillance when you
talk about big brother - the technology that is implied in big brother is
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