Opening the Black Box: The Work of Watching

Opening the Black Box: The Work of Watching

by Gavin J. D. Smith
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Social control has, in recent times, undergone a series of technological transformations. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is one such innovation. Substantial capital has been invested in vast CCTV networks in a bid to influence perception, manage risk and maintain social order. Although one might be inclined to perceive such technologies as either inanimate

See more details below

Overview

Social control has, in recent times, undergone a series of technological transformations. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is one such innovation. Substantial capital has been invested in vast CCTV networks in a bid to influence perception, manage risk and maintain social order. Although one might be inclined to perceive such technologies as either inanimate objects or authoritarian referents, Opening the Black Box situates them in a wider social context and offers an alternative perspective, taking the reader on a journey from life under the camera, to life behind the lens.

While considering the everyday experiences of the camera operators responsible for viewing, interpreting and assessing a multitude of mediated images, the reader is introduced to an intriguing set of social processes. In particular, the complexity of interactivity among humans, machines and the wider system is shown to stimulate affective workplace cultures that are defined by story telling, tacit knowledge and emotionality.

Overall, the book emphasizes both the seductive and traumatic nature of watching (and reflecting upon) reality, and considers the various implications of camera operators being organizationally constituted as symbolic – or ‘vicarious’ – custodians of a precarious social order.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As the role of watching and collection of personal data is increasingly devolved to wide-range of actors, it is important to understand how this monitoring may be shaped by existing social positions. Why, for example, do some surveillance agents become ‘crime fighters’ or ‘sympathisers’ or ‘whistleblowers’? Opening the Black Box has raised these questions and in doing so the author has made a significant and enduring contribution to the field. The book will become essential reading for those interested in surveillance studies, criminology, urban studies, and organization studies."— Michael McCahill, University of Hull, Surveillance and Society

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415587297
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
10/17/2014
Series:
Routledge Advances in Sociology Series
Pages:
202
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >