Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Hope, A.
Biopower and school surveillance technologies 2.0
(2015) British Journal of Sociology of Education, 20 p. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2014.1001060


In recent years the proliferation, speed and reach of school-based surveillance devices has undergone what could be labelled as a revolution. Drawing upon Foucault’s concept of biopower to explore the disciplining of bodies and the biopolitical management of populations, this paper examines ‘new’ school surveillance technologies enabling biometric measurement, electronic detection, substance screening, video observation and data monitoring. Klein’s notion of surveillance 2.0 is utilised to further examine emerging features of school monitoring practices, including the impact of ‘data doubles’, playful student resistance and the commodification of surveillance. It is concluded that invasive school surveillance practices are becoming normalised, that politically motivated, data-driven simulations could increasingly be used to support education interventions and that a function creep is occurring as recreational devices become embroiled in institutional surveillance practices.

Author Keywords
biopolitics; biopower; body; data; discipline; resistance

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