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Since the 1960s, and increasingly since September 11, 2001, “surveillance studies” has become a rapidly expanding field, devised to examine the ways in which information about people’s personal lives is obtained, stored, and shared and how these details are used to influence and manage populations. This special issue of Social Text takes on surveillance in its domestic and international forms, exploring the impact that it has on labor, technology, and privacy.
One article looks at the emergence of the biometrics industries and its effect on surveillance systems and businesses. Another addresses the labor of surveillance and how surveillance work and policy affect the homeland security workforce. Various geographic areas are highlighted in several essays, including those on sex workers in Bengal, local surveillance in Turkey, and welfare surveillance and resistance in Appalachian Ohio. Additional themes include historical modes of surveillance, processes of legitimation for intensifying surveillance, and cultural representations of surveillance.
Contributors. Kelly A. Gates, Swati Ghosh, John Gilliom, Margaret Morganroth Gullette, Richard Maxwell, Laikwan Pang, David J. Phillips, Michael J. Shapiro, Çagatay Topal