Review: Nils Zurawski (Ed.) (2011). Überwachungspraxen – Praktiken der Überwachung [Surveillance Practices—Practices of Surveillance]

Stephan Humer


The anthology "Überwachungspraxen – Praktiken der Überwachung" [Surveillance Practices—Practices of Surveillance] evolved from the University of Hamburg's research project "Konsum(kontroll)technologien" [Consumption Control Technologies], and is dedicated to the analysis of everyday practices in surveillance and control. These parameters are clearly underrepresented in the canon of research fields dealing with surveillance and control—only a few studies focus on how surveillance is practiced and manifested, as well as which connecting factors evolve from these topics for further research. This is, according to the editor, a blatant flaw, and one that this anthology seeks to rectify. In fact, it seems quite apparent that jurisprudential, technological and purely theoretical analyses of surveillance and control, as well as philosophical essays on the disciplinary and control society, dominate the discourse in this field (with particular emphasis on digital video surveillance). In light of this status quo, any enrichment to the current discourse through the elucidation of practices—and not just limited to video surveillance—should prove beneficial to anyone interested in analyzing surveillance and control, despite the highly variable quality of the volume's contributions, which is to be expected in an anthology on such a topic.



surveillance; control; disciplinary society; control society; video surveillance; surveillance practices; consumption

Copyright (c) 2012 Stephan Humer

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