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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/717

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Title: The politics of surveillance: big brother on prozac
Authors: Waiton, Stuart
Affiliation: University of Abertay Dundee. School of Social & Health Sciences
Keywords: Closed-circuit television
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Surveillance Studies Network
Type: Journal Article
Refereed: peer-reviewed
Rights: This is the published version of this article, reproduced by permission of the publisher. Published version (c)Surveillance Studies Network, available from http://www.surveillance-and-society.org/ojs/index.php/journal/issue/view/Open%208
Citation: Waiton, S. 2010. The politics of surveillance: big brother on prozac. Surveillance & Society. 8(1): pp.61-84. Available from http://www.surveillance-and-society.org/ojs/index.php/journal/issue/view/Open%208
Abstract: This paper explores the rise of CCTV in society during the last two decades. It concentrates on state sponsored surveillance schemes in an attempt to answer the question of why it is that CCTV surveillance emerged at this particular point in history. At one level, advancing technology can allow a ‘surveillance society’ to emerge, yet the extent to which CCTV cameras have spread into city centres and residential areas suggests something more profound has changed in ‘public’ life. The exponential rise in the surveillance of society is often understood to reflect the rise of authoritarianism, perhaps particularly in the UK. Whether from a Weberian, a Foucauldian, or even – and perhaps in particular – a neo-Marxist perspective, this development is often understood as an enforcement of power, resulting from an ideological consensus built around ‘rampant’ neo-liberalism; public life is, in part, understood to be undermined by private interests, the power of capital, or techniques of governance associated to one degree or another with neo-liberalism. In this paper, the neo-liberal framework for understanding the rise of surveillance is questioned. Building upon arguments by Baudrillard, Lasch, Bauman and Furedi it is argued that, rather than an aggressive and purposeful moral or neo-liberal authoritarianism lying behind the rise of surveillance cameras the opposite is in fact the case. The diminution of ‘public’ space both reflects and represents the decline of political purpose and meaning within society and especially within the political elite.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/717
ISBN: 1477-7487
Appears in Collections:Social & Health Sciences Collection

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