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CCTV, school surveillance and social control

Hope, Andrew (2009) CCTV, school surveillance and social control. British educational research journal, 35 (6). pp. 891-907. ISSN 1469-3518

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Abstract

Burgeoning fears for safety in UK schools have resulted in a rapid growth in the use of various security measures, most notably closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems. Utilising semi-structured interviews and non-participant observation this research examines how CCTV is used in schools, explores the manner in which this facilitates social control and considers the wider implications of such surveillance technology. It is argued that this technology, which is predominantly focused on students, is effective in facilitating direct observation, but does little to foster self-surveillance in the longer term. It is concluded that CCTV use in schools represents an underlying shift in values, away from exercising social control through enculturation towards system integration. This has important ethical implications.

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