Foucault's Theory Of Surveillance And Society

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After 9/11, surveillance did not become substantively different; it was not an event that pushed our technological capacities forward, but a tragedy that provoked societal change. The topic of surveillance entered mainstream public discussion, with great public concern and support. “The apparent crisis was immediately seen as an opportunity for already existing systems and capacities to be more fully exploited. 9/11 thus brought surveillance to the surface. The existence of a “surveillance society” became much clearer to all.” (Lyon, 18)

One significant surveillance program developed in response to 9/11 was the “If you see something, say something” program. This was not a technologically advanced program, did not require much effort to implement, and it is unclear how effective it is. But the program is persistent, and has a lasting impact on the public. This effect can be examined with Foucault’s theory of examination as a means of training. The most effective means to control the public is to train them to be proactive in oppressing themselves, making them control themselves and each other. In this essay, I will explain Foucault’s description of examination, and its component parts, and discuss the interplay between surveillance and society, focusing on justifications for surveillance, and
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It reminds people to be vigilant and observe others for any “suspicious activity”, in other words, the “bad” behavior Foucault discussed. The phrase itself demands that anything not matching the norm be reported. Mr. Kay himself, who had been inspired by past propaganda (specifically “loose lips sink ships”), noticed this, and “thought it was ironic because we want just the opposite. We want people to talk. I wanted to come up with something that would carry like that. That would be

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