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!
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.
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)
William G. Staples has authored an impressive, well-written, and exhaustive historical analysis of what he terms society’s ever-increasing ‘culture of surveillance’ and ‘postmodern surveillance practices.’ While extremely readable and eye opening, Everyday Surveillance . . . is a wide-ranging historical overview of the progression of surveillance and control tactics beginning in the 1700s and continuing all the way to the controversial surveillance tactics employed by government agencies today. . . .Ultimately, this book clearly and effectively challenges the reader to consider how technology has benefited or damaged society. Staples does not pass judgment or offer personal opinion on the techniques described throughout the book; however, he challenges the reader in the hope of creating public discourse regarding concepts of justice, transparency, societal control, and voyeurism. . . .This book should be viewed as an advanced sociological, historical, analytical, and at times philosophical discourse on a topic relevant to all security practitioners and society as a whole.
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)
British Journal of Criminology
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 surveillancecomplementing but also complicating the watchful eye of the Stateand the equanimity with which this has been greeted by the public.
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.
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.
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 freedomwhere 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.
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.
Staples offers examples from such standard operations as automatic updating, social media use, location tracking, ubiquitous use of debit cards over cash, and driver's licenses and license plates and then suggests these are all modes of social control.
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)
British Journal Of Criminology