Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility in Postmodern Life

Overview

This book highlights "mundane" practices that increasingly influence our schools, homes and communities; cameras, "pagers", electronic monitoring instruments, the digital "paper trail" of "cashless" transactions, random drug testing, and "integrity tests". The author journeys back and forth between the justice system and the everyday life of the postmodern to illustrate how the lines between these two spheres of social life are increasingly blurred by the use of new surveillance technologies. Taken together, ...
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Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility in Postmodern Life

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Overview

This book highlights "mundane" practices that increasingly influence our schools, homes and communities; cameras, "pagers", electronic monitoring instruments, the digital "paper trail" of "cashless" transactions, random drug testing, and "integrity tests". The author journeys back and forth between the justice system and the everyday life of the postmodern to illustrate how the lines between these two spheres of social life are increasingly blurred by the use of new surveillance technologies. Taken together, these surveillance rituals constitute the building blocks of a rapidly emerging society of discipline, one increasingly stripped of personal privacy, individual trust, and a viable public life that supports and maintains democratic values and practices.

Author Biography: Bill Staples is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas.

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Editorial Reviews

British Journal Of Criminology
The suggestion made by Everyday Surveillance that a 'quiet revolution' is occurring in which we are all targets is a thought provoking one. It reminds us that we all are responsible for encouraging surveillance by being seduced by its promises, fearing the consequences without it and heralding it as society's salvation. The book flags up some new directions in which the study of visual, informational and communication technologies might profitably head.(praise for previous editions)
Social Forces
This book is very well written....It offers a fascinating chronicle of the rage to invent new forms of surveillance, as well as pithy conceptualizations that organize the empirical materials nicely. As such, it clearly meets Staples's stated goal of providing an accesible undergraduate textbook.
Contemporary Sociology
Lively and engaging. Instructors looking for a sociological treatment of an interesting contemporary issue will find that this book would provoke discussion and debate among studnets in undergraduate or graduate courses.
Social Forces
This book is very well written. . . . It offers a fascinating chronicle of the rage to invent new forms of surveillance, as well as pithy conceptualizations that organize the empirical materials nicely. As such, it clearly meets Staples's stated goal of providing an accessible undergraduate textbook. (praise for previous edition)
Contemporary Sociology
Lively and engaging. Instructors looking for a sociological treatment of an interesting contemporary issue will find that this book would provoke discussion and debate among students in undergraduate or graduate courses. (praise for previous edition)
Torin Monahan
This insightful and wonderfully accessible book shows howsurveillance has radically transformed just about every aspect of social life. Whetherathome, school, work, or in online worlds, surveillance defines and mediatesour experiences. This completely revised edition ofEverydaySurveillanceis the perfect guide for making sense ofthese changes and their consequences.
Simon Chesterman
George Orwell was wrong. The modern problem of surveillance isn’t Big Brother but the thousands upon thousands of “Tiny Brothers” that record and track our daily existence. William Staples offers a compelling account of the rise of private surveillance—complementing but also complicating the watchful eye of the State—and the equanimity with which this has been greeted by the public.
Kevin D. Haggerty
William Staples blends sophisticated social theorizing with a keen eye for the minute ways that surveillance touches our day-to-day lives. In the process he brings to light the often otherwise invisible powers of contemporary monitoring practices.
Gary T. Marx
William Staples offers an engaging, succinct, contemporary introduction to the micro-management of ever more areas of daily life through surveillance technology. While attuned to the depths of change, he does not lose sight of what remains unchanged. Ideal for a range of beginning social science courses!
Simone Browne
Through incisive analysis, Everyday Surveillance charts the various ways that surveillance shapes the postmodern moment: from the routinized gathering of data by 'smart' technologies when we shop, work, travel, or protest, to new categories of punishment that blur the line between incarceration and freedom—where those under house arrest are subject to 'participatory monitoring' with the expectation that they come to supervise themselves. Through interviews and observations, Staples offers a 'sociology of the postmodern' that is a wide-ranging, historically grounded, and theoretically informed engagement with the techniques of surveillance and social control.
David Murakami Wood
The first edition of William Staples' Everyday Surveillance was an instant classic which played a significant part in establishing the field of Surveillance Studies. So it is a delight to see the publication of this almost entirely updated second edition, which not only deals with the transformations that have taken place since 9/11 but also with the increasing ubiquity of surveillance in everyday life through social practices, culture and technology. This is absolutely essential reading for anyone who wonders exactly how it is that surveillance came to be everywhere in our lives.
David Lyon
The beauty of this book? It's true to its title. Surveillance is demystified. It's not an occasional or remote occurrence but an intrinsic aspect of all our everyday lives. We are challenged to understand and come to terms with a culture of surveillance in which 'Big Brother is us.' Staples guides us between the multi-faceted vigilance of digital systems and the enhanced visibility of our mundane life-paths, noting subtle shifts from modern to postmodern practices. This book deftly draws attention to the key questions that we discount to our detriment.
British Journal of Criminology
The suggestion made by Everyday Surveillance that a 'quiet revolution' is occurring in which we are all targets is a thought provoking one. It reminds us that we all are responsible for encouraging surveillance by being seduced by its promises, fearing the consequences without it and heralding it as society's salvation. The book flags up some new directions in which the study of visual, informational and communication technologies might profitably head.(praise for previous edition)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742541108
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/18/2013
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 251
  • Sales rank: 710,210
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William G. Staples is professor of sociology and founding director of the Surveillance Studies Research Center at the University of Kansas. He is author or editor of several books, including the Encyclopedia of Privacy and Castles of Our Consciousness, both CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles, and Power, Profits, and Patriarchy, winner of an American Sociological Association Section Book Award.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Everyday Surveillance 1
2 The Scaffold, the Penitentiary, and Beyond 15
3 The Gaze and Its Compulsions 41
4 Bodily Intrusions 93
5 CU-See Me and the Internet 127
6 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised 151
Endnotes 161
Selected References 177
Index 183
About the Author 191
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