Module Identifier MC30420  
Module Title THE SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Jamie Sexton  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   10 Hours.  
Assessment
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1 Essay of 2,500 words50%
Semester Assessment 1 Essay of 2,500 words50%
Further details http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Modules/MC30420  

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  1. ANALYSE AND DEMONSTRATE AWARENESS OF HOW EVERYDAY LIFE IS SUBJECT TO A BROAD VARIETY OF SURVEILLANCE METHODS

  1. CRITICALLY EVALUATE A RANGE OF MATERIALS RELATING TO SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGIES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS.

  1. DEMONSTRATE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOCIO-HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF SURVEILLANCE AND TO INVESTICGATE A SPECIFIC ISSUE IN DETAIL.
  2. ASSESS THE IMPLICATIONS OF NEW, DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES AND HOW THEY RELATE TO QUESTIONS OF SURVEILLANCE, AND TO THINK ABOUT ISSUES SUCH AS 'RESISTANCE'.

Aims

Brief description

The Surveillance Society will enable students to explore the range of ways in which new digital technologies are altering the boundaries between public and private, with important political and ethical implications. It will explore the ways in which we watch and are watched in contemporary society. There are many facets to this. At the broadest level there are debates (often generated by Foucauldian fears) about the increasing penetration of forms of knowledge, from market research to the emergence of vast databanks information. There is the rise of new modes of official surveillance: in our everyday lives we are surrounded by inconspicuous security cameras and 'spycams'. The concerns about the penetration of the 'private' sphere these occasion has led many to suggest that the public/private relationship as a whole is being reconfigured. And 'Reality-TV' has, it is argued, generated new forms of voyeurism (itself a topic of theorization and debate in film theory) by putting ordinary people under the 24-hour scrutiny of cameras (and microphones). Yet at the same time researchers tell of forms of resistance or seizure in response to these penetrations: people using webcams for their own purposes, using them to redefine their sense of self and their public identities.

Content

Possible topics include:

Key issues relating to these topics will be discussed during seminars. Students will be asked to engage in a variety of tasks, from group discussion, presentations as well as debate.

Reading Lists

Books
** Essential Reading
Lyon, D (2001) The Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life Open university press
Lyon, D (ed) (2002) Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, risk and Digital Discrimination Routledge
Staples, W (1997) The Culture of Surveillance Cambridge University Press
** Consult For Futher Information
Caplan, J and Torpey, J (eds) (2002) Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern Word princeton university press
Dandeker, C (1990) Surveillance, Power and Modernity Cambridge university press
Foucault,M (1977) Discipline ans Punish
Gilliom, J (2001) Overseers of the Poor: Surveillance, Resistance and the Limits of Privacy Chicago University Press
Lyon, D (1994) Electronic eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society Cambridge polity
Lyon, D (2003) Surveillance after September 11 Routledge
Mathijs, E and Jones, J (eds) (2004) Big brother international: Format, Critics and publics Walflower press
Mellucci, A (1996) Challenging Codes: Collective Action in the Information Age Cambridge university Press
Norris, C and McCahill, M (eds) (1999) The Maximum Surveillance Society: The Rise of CCTV Berg

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6