Call for papers: Surveillance and Inequality

Surveillance & Society
Special Issue on Surveillance and Inequality: Issue 5(4)

(Guest editors: Torin Monahan and Jill A. Fisher)

Publication date: December 2007

Deadline for submissions: 15 July 2007

Many domains of social life are being transfigured by new technologies of identification, monitoring, tracking, data analysis, and control. The lived experiences of people subjected to surveillance, however, can vary widely along lines of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, and nationality. This can be seen with the enforcement of different types of mobilities for different categories of people, whether at borders, on city streets, or on the Internet. It can also be observed with the increasingly invasive monitoring and discipline of those accessing public services, such as welfare, public education, or healthcare, especially in the U.S. It can be perceived in security-screening and police-profiling practices, which continue to rely upon racial markers of „risk.‰ Or inequality can be found in the uneven treatment of individuals by insurance providers, credit agencies, service centers, or other commercial entities. Regardless of the domain, new surveillance systems appear to amplify existing social inequalities and establish rationales for increased control of marginalized groups in societies.

The journal Surveillance & Society is seeking papers that examine issues of surveillance and inequality. The editors are especially interested in research papers that address the differential effects of surveillance upon marginalized and privileged social groups. Whereas surveillance studies inquiry often begins with technology as a starting point for analysis, we welcome papers that start with descriptions of power relations in any social settings and then move to illustrate the role of surveillance technologies or practices in the regulation of those settings. We further encourage contributions that theorize the relationship of the political economy to surveillance and inequality, whether by attending to globalization processes, neoliberal policies, or military operations. Finally, we are also quite interested in papers that seek to demonstrate or theorize the empowering potential of surveillance systems to correct social inequalities.

Possible papers could investigate the role of surveillance in:

The regulation of gender or status relations in places of employment.
Socio-spatial segregation in cities, suburbs, exurbs, or rural communities.
The restructuring or elimination of public programs and spaces (or citizen rights) by neoliberal policies ˆ which could include a focus on schools, welfare, healthcare, voting, etc.
Racial or ethnic profiling by police, security personnel, or immigration agents.
The enforcement of differential mobilities (along with inquiry into the relationship of mobilities to the life chances and well-being of travelers).
The automatic prioritizing of services, rights, and mobilities in software-sorted service domains.
The control of women‚s bodies, especially in regard to reproduction.
Monitoring of children or the elderly or the monitoring of those charged with taking care of them.
The militarization of borders and the corresponding dangers faced by undocumented immigrants, refugees, and others.

Submissions should be sent electronically to Emily Smith, at by 15 July 2007 with a publication date of December 2007.

We welcome full academic papers, opinion pieces, review pieces, poetry, artistic, and audio-visual submissions. Submissions will undergo a peer-review and revision process prior to publication. Submissions should be original work, neither previously published nor under consideration for publication elsewhere. All references to previous work by contributors should be masked in the text (e.g., “Author, 2007”). Please see: for further submission guidelines.

Torin Monahan
Assistant Professor
Arizona State University
School of Justice & Social Inquiry |

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