- Code SOCY6064
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Sociology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Sociology
- Areas of interest Sociology, Algorithms and Data, Criminology, Human Rights
This course provides students with an introduction to the field of surveillance studies from a sociological perspective. Surveillance systems and technologies have become a familiar feature of everyday life. Practices of voluntary and involuntary data sharing occur as we shop, as we access services, as we browse the web, as we communicate, and as we travel. Personal information has become a key commodity and means of exercising power.
This course introduces the key historical events, technological transformations, organisational processes and cultural practices that have established the surveillance society. It asks students to consider the social, legal, political and ethical affects of increased visibility in a networked age. This involves analysis of the interests and forces that legitimate the creep of surveillance technologies into the front and backstage regions of life. It entails looking at how people from different backgrounds experience and respond to different types of surveillance in their everyday lives. We also review the key theories and concepts in the surveillance studies field and apply these critically to empirical examples.
The four key questions informing our coverage are:
1. What social, political, economic and cultural conditions have generated the surveillance society?
2. How did surveillance become so normal in everyday life?
3. What purposes and interests does surveillance serve?
4. How does surveillance operate and with what social affects?
Overall, the course provides students with the knowledge, understanding and research skills to approach the topic of surveillance from a critically informed perspective. It equips students with the means to analyse the diverse ways in which contemporary surveillance systems operate and are socially experienced.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Identify the social, cultural, political and economic imperatives responsible for the intensification of surveillance.
- Critically evaluate the social impacts and resonances of surveillance processes.
- Explain concepts and theories used by sociologists to analyse and explain surveillance practices, processes and policies: specifically notions of risk, rationalisation, power, visibility, exposure, supervision, big data, spectacle, inequality, vulnerability and resistance.
- Undertake and analyse different forms of research in the surveillance studies field.
- Present complex ideas lucidly and critically, both orally and in writing.
Indicative AssessmentPrécis and Analysis Essay (2500 words, 30%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]
Tutorial Presentation, including presentation notes/slides (10 minutes, 20%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]
Tutorial Participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]
Synoptic Exam, 3 hours (40%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]
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WorkloadThe workload will be one 2-hour workshop (interactive lecture) and one 1-hour student-led tutorial per week for 13 weeks. Students are expected to undertake a further 7 hours of independent study per week during the semester (total 130 hours).
• Two 'Core Readings' on each topic to be completed weekly in advance of tutorial classes
• Periodic practical exercises in advance of tutorials
• Approximately 5000-words in assessed written work
• A compulsory oral presentation
Requisite and Incompatibility
Assumed KnowledgeBasic grasp of sociology and social research methods.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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|Class start date
|Last day to enrol
|Class end date
|Mode Of Delivery
|18 Jul 2016
|29 Jul 2016
|31 Aug 2016
|28 Oct 2016