Technology and Power. A Foucauldian Analysis of Electronic Monitoring Discourses

  • Anna Vitores Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
  • Miquel Domènech Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
Keywords: Foucault, Social Studies of Science and Technology, power technologies, electronic monitoring, discipline


The article aims to show the importance of FOUCAULT within social studies of science and technology. It also illustrates how a Foucauldian analysis can be useful for studies of science, technology and society focused on power effects. To accomplish these objectives we analyze the emergence of a specific techno-scientific innovation: the electronic monitoring of offenders. We map the discontinuities and discourse dispersions linked to those practices that constitute different materializations of this electronic device. Because we start from questions concerning power technologies, rather than simply analyzing the ideologies and knowledges that legitimate electronic monitoring and its technical reliability, we attend to the assemblage of discourses, rhetorics, vocabularies, techniques and procedures by which knowledge is intertwined and joins with the exercise of power. In this way, we show how one of FOUCAULT's technologies of power—disciplinary technology—is articulated, nourished and contradicted by other emergent logics drawing on new forms of regulation and social control. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs070225


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Author Biographies

Anna Vitores, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
Anna VITORES es Investigadora en de Departamento de Psicología Social de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Sus intereses de investigación incluyen: estudios sociales de la ciencia y la tecnología, relaciones de poder, control social y psicología del comportamiento colectivo.
Miquel Domènech, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
Miquel DOMÈNECH es Profesor Titular de Psicología Social en la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Su trabajo como investigador lo desarrolla dentro del campo de los estudios de la ciencia y la tecnología, con un especial énfasis en los aspectos relacionados con las relaciones de poder y la acción colectiva. Es coordinador del GESCIT (Grupo de Estudios Sociales en Ciencia y Tecnología) de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona y miembro de la EASST (European Association for the Study of Science and Technology).