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Political Economy and Surveillance Theory
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2013 (English)In: Critical Sociology, ISSN 0896-9205, E-ISSN 1569-1632, Vol. 39, no 5, 671-687 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The task of this article is to help in the grounding of foundations for relating surveillance studies to Marxian categories. Existing theories of surveillance have thus far not been linked systematically to Marx's works. The contribution of this article is that it discusses the relation of the Marxian concept of the cycle of accumulation and the notion of surveillance. It is shown that for Karl Marx surveillance was a fundamental aspect of the capitalist economy and the modern nation state. Surveillance is an integral negative and antagonistic feature of capitalist society. The Marxian concept of the cycle of capital accumulation allows for systematically distinguishing six forms of economic surveillance: applicant surveillance, workplace surveillance, workforce surveillance, property surveillance, consumer surveillance, and surveillance of competition. The notion of accumulation is suitable for establishing a general critical understanding of surveillance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 39, no 5, 671-687 p.
Keyword [en]
surveillance, surveillance studies, surveillance society, Karl Marx, capitalism, cycle of capital accumulation, critique of the political economy, critical theory
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306408DOI: 10.1177/0896920511435710ISI: 000209202300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-306408DiVA: diva2:1047382
Available from: 2016-11-17 Created: 2016-10-27 Last updated: 2016-11-17Bibliographically approved

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