• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How and why is surveillance used in cities? To what extent is surveillance a just means of social control?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Matthew Birkett December 2002 Tutor: Jo Massey How and why is surveillance used in cities? To what extent is surveillance a just means of social control? To be able to discuss the issue of surveillance, it is necessary to understand what is meant by surveillance. Surveillance literally means 'keeping watch over, guarding or supervising'. In the field of sociology, the word surveillance has a much more technical meaning, writers such as Foucault (1977), have often discussed how surveillance is a way to impose social control and order upon society. In society today, surveillance is widely used, particularly to monitor behaviour. In the city, the use and different forms of surveillance has increased immensely over the last thirty years. The use surveillance within the city dates back to the 19th century in the form of police surveillance. The police began walking 'the beat' in order to reduce crime and in the hope of being more accessible to the public. The practise of 'pounding the beat,' has continued to modern times, in cities such as Manchester, policing the streets is used for a variety of reasons. Primarily, the police is used for detecting crimes, deterring criminals from offending, and also to reduce the publics' fear of crime. Another reason of 'pounding the beat,' is to observe suspicious characters. ...read more.

Middle

The police monitored the CCTV system, the public approved of this, so long as the police and no outside agencies that were the observers. The system worked in Newcastle; the city was opened up by a newfound security that was felt through the CCTV. More arrests and conviction were made as a direct result of the CCTV.1 More recently, forms of 'hyper-surveillant control' have been developed; Boggard (1996) originally coined the term hyper-surveillant control. As a definition, hyper-surveillant control means, "Not just an intensification of surveillance, but the effort to push surveillance to the absolute limit." Boggard was referring to modern day society and included all types of surveillance, including the previously discussed and methods of surveillance, which are more recent, including monitoring consumption patterns when using credit or debit cards. When people use credit or debit cards, banks can monitor where, when, time, what they bought, and all this information is logged and stored. Moreover, every time a form is completed, information is given on all aspects of a person's life, once the form has been completed, the individual can never be clear what happens to the information. Furthermore, in this day of increasing consumerism, where more and more people are using the Internet, websites that have been viewed are stored and then tailor made advertising will appear on screen. ...read more.

Conclusion

This prison had no bars, but observation was the key to control, the wardens would be able to see every part of the prison, but the prisoners would not be able to see the wardens. Foucault suggested that the Panopticon worked because "it induced a state of conscious and permanent visibility that ensures the automatic functioning of power." As the prisoners are aware that they are being watched, it is said that their behaviour alters because of this. The Panoptic prison was never developed, however, Foucault does argue that the idea did have an influence on other institutions such as hospital, schools and factories. The Panoptic idea was an idea that social control could be enforced through complete surveillance. To conclude, surveillance is crucial within cities in order for social control to be maintained, but contrary to what some have argued, surveillance is not always the most essential ingredient in sustaining social control. Surveillance is a useful tool in the prevention and prosecution of crime, moreover, surveillance gives people the security that they require for them to feel safe from crime. People are willing to except that surveillance is inevitable, but are not will not except surveillance to encourage the extremes of social control where the 'all seeing eye' is developed and all aspects of social behaviour is controlled through the use of surveillance. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. What is Social Control? Discuss the Main Agencies of Social Control in British Society ...

    But according to Durkheim, needs, desires and aspirations are restrained by the norms of society that is conformity results in crime There are three ways in which to achieve social control in a society.

  2. Homophobia: a Definition

    So the challenge is responded to with homophobia: First, homosexual men are stigmatized and then this stigma is used as a threat against men who do not support masculine roles that dominate women. Thus, the norm of homophobia is used by men to control other men in their male roles--by characterizing nondominant roles as sissy, womanly, or "homosexual".

  1. Working More Creatively With Groups.

    was after only one class done in a fun but productive manner. In our small group I think that I had used some skills that I have picked up on my journey so far. While trying to figure out what role-play to do I was able to use the skill of compromise to decide which one to do.

  2. Foucault's Panopticon

    Thus, Foucault is interested in the effect of power relations on the human body. The body itself, it's symbols of punishments, incarceration, disciplined gestures, all give evidence of the "political anatomy" and how pervasive the instruments, or technology, of power has become in the modern, industrialized age.

  1. Social Security Policy.

    changed to both decrease relative value of benefits for the unemployed and to increase use of means testing. This leads to two problems for ensuring incentives to work: one is to ensure that benefit rates are not close to or greater than in- work income and to ensure that those

  2. What do you consider to be the main causes of social conflict in Britain's ...

    There are many reasons behind social conflict and there are also catalysts that trigger the social disorder such as riots. Community is often a group of people with shared interests, a neighbourhood where residents feel a sense of identification and belonging.

  1. In the light of the teachings of the Qur'an discuss the moral and ethical ...

    And this is what Islam teaches us. Allah in Quran has told us that "And the servants of the beneficent are they who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, PEACE! And they who pass the night prostrating themselves before their lord and standing.''

  2. Discuss the significance of both defensive and fortress architecture and the privatisation of public ...

    Such affluent neighbourhoods commonly employ private police to increase their security, often displaying warning signs such as "Armed Response!" (Davis, p223) on each property. These measures are quite possibly the most dramatic and intrusive manifestations of fortress architecture, therefore it must be asked if the perceived threat to the property

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work