Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicola Green
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
This article argues for a wider and more nuanced understanding of ethnography’s role in Surveillance Studies than has sometimeshistorically been the case. The article begins by (briefly) deconstructing some of the ways that the concepts of both ‘surveillance’and ‘ethnography’ have been deployed in empirical surveillance research over time, in order to set the scene for a criticalinterrogation of the variety of ethnographic approaches so far used within Surveillance Studies. The paper then goes on to reviewSurveillance Studies approaches broadly, and a range of qualitative and ethnographically-informed approaches in particular,within interdisciplinary empirical research related to surveillance relations. The ensuing discussion identifies several points wherethe existing empirical evidence base would benefit from more extensive ethnographic studies, at multiple sites and scales, thatmethodologically recognize surveillance as situated and meaningful everyday life processes and practices, rather than surveillantactivities and relationships in settings defined as ‘surveillance’ in an a priori fashion. The article concludes by suggesting thatapproaches oriented towards empirically understanding surveillance practices as ‘everyday life’ have a significant futurecontribution to make, particularly with respect to building and developing our theoretical understandings of surveillantassemblages in everyday life contexts.
Author(s): Green N, Zurawski N
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Surveillance and Society
Online publication date: 31/03/2015
Acceptance date: 01/12/2014
Date deposited: 02/04/2017
ISSN (electronic): 1477-7487
Publisher: Surveillance Studies Network