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Title: Power and the image : CCTV and televisual governance
Author: Heydon, Jeffrey Douglas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 2704
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The text addresses the ways in which camera surveillance and, primarily, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is used to support the efficacy of governmental authority. The primary concern is the extent to which the video image has become integral to the exercise and the legitimization of the use of power and to provide support for State prosecutions and surveillance with particular reference to Canada and the United Kingdom. The thesis begins by introducing a short history of the use of CCTV in government, followed by a selection of example cases that illustrate the use of CCTV in British and Canadian court cases. The text then moves on to a theoretical evaluation of CCTV as a complement of the processes of governing and the establishment of what, in line with Foucault, I call the ‘institutional gaze’. In so doing it will show how the determination of the subject and the observer is also profoundly affected by this form of electronic media. The relationship between the individual and police and security services, the effect that media has on the way that space is perceived and how the camera has become an integral component of carrying out policing and security programs in contemporary life are major themes. McLuhan, Baudrillard, Virilio, Foucault and Derrida, among others, are consulted in order to evaluate the relationship between viewer, subject and space. Overall, the thesis is an evaluation of the experience of media, the determination of its impact and continuing influence on systems of power and the application of these determinations to the routine procedure of policing and prosecuting. The analysis shows how what is typically thought to be a linear and generally inert process of camera surveillance is in fact very complex and demands a nuanced appreciation for the effect media has on our understanding of the world around us.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral