Surveillance and Communication

Authored by: Joshua Reeves

The Handbook of Communication and Security

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815396789
eBook ISBN: 9781351180962
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter analyzes the surveillance and security relationship, describing four exemplary ways in which these issues have instigated something of a “surveillance turn” in Communication scholarship. These include: (1) the growing popularity of surveillance as an object of cultural and rhetorical criticism, (2) an emphasis on the key role of information and communication technologies in surveillance, (3) the increasing prominence of cultural techniques and related surveillance-oriented paradigms in media theory, and (4) the growing recognition of the link between surveillance, communication, and subjectification in state-led security campaigns aimed at recruiting citizens into the policing process. To illustrate these trends, the chapter analyzes how smart technologies like Amazon’s Echo and Alexa offer new configurations of the relationship between security, surveillance, and communication.

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