Everyday Surveillance

Topics: High school, Sociology, Michel Foucault Pages: 3 (1064 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Literally, surveillance means to watch over and as such it is an everyday practice in which human beings engage routinely, often unthinkingly. Parents watch over children, employers watch over workers, police watch over neighborhoods, guards watch over prisoners and so on. In most instances, however, surveillance has more specific usage referring to some focused and purposive attention to objects, data, or persons. After observing the middle school I am currently employed at I’ve come to notice a vast amount of surveillance that goes on within a school. In, Michel Foucault ' Panopticism' in The Surveillance Studies Reader he stated that, “the productive increase of power can be assured only if…it can be exercised continuously in the very foundation of society.” (Foucault, 72) I chose to observe in particular the hallways of my job as young children walk to their classes during passing period to go to their next class. This particular space contains countless lockers painted with youthful decorations. Along with this are dividers like lanes, which teach the children their right to life a form of guidance. The uniqueness about these hallways are the size of the hallways there very wide, also there are visible classroom doors and bright lights making everything visible to the eye. As stated before the floor is divided as a sense of guidance but this isn’t the only type of signage that gives direction. There’s also wall mounted plates at each turning point with numerical labeling and arrows pointed in a specific directions informing children, adults, and visitors where to go. As far as sound goes its filled with young voices chatting about sports, girls, boys, homework, teachers, what to do after school. After observing this for two days at two different times it was quiet evident that there is a lot of surveillance going on within small increments of time.

In observing the school the purpose of certain surveillance technologies being used here are, human...
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