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*** Hi. Here is the assignment instructions below, I feel that Michel Foucault is a good one to choose from, please do not use complicated words and just get to the point. This is not a summary of a key thinker. You are expected to contextualize the thinker within the field of surveillance studies and consider what their contribution is to the field. PLEASE let me know if you have any questions?***
Thinker Assignment (20% of Final Grade)
This assignment is a mandatory portion of the course. Students are expected to examine one key thinker from the list below. You are required to investigate your chosen thinker, familiarize yourself with some biographical information as well as his or her respective works. In nearly all cases you should expect to examine at least one of their major works and skim over others. The objective of the blog entry is to provide a concise critical engagement with the thinker and his or her approach to the study of surveillance.
This assignment should not exceed 1200 words. Part of the challenge of this assignment is its brevity. Obviously, you cannot provide a comprehensive analysis of their work in 1500 words, and so choices as to the appropriate content for inclusion will have to be made by you. Decide on the key issues from the thinker’s work that you find most convincing, troubling, instructive, damaging, dangerous, disruptive, etc., and provide your own critical engagement with some specific ideas, concepts or theories raised by this thinker. Here are some questions to consider when crafting your blog entry:
In which sub-field of surveillance studies scholarship is his/her work? (i.e., feminist surveillance studies, sociology, critical race studies, political economy, security studies, geography, anthropology, etc.)
Are the concepts, ideas and approaches forwarded by this thinker products of a particular historical period, or do they transcend history? For example, do they seem to make some sense in the early stages of surveillance society, or the pre-digital age, but seem to have little resonance or explanatory power in terms of understanding surveillance society today?
What is the relationship between theory and practice in the case of this thinker? In other words, how is the theoretical approach they advocate contribute to a particular sort of surveillance society?
How does this thinker deal with the issue of “social sorting”? If the individual focuses on security, how is it defined? Whose security? Is there an analysis of the (political) economy of surveillance?
How would you describe the normative commitment of this thinker? Is it obvious or concealed? Explain.
There are obviously many other questions one can think of in order to address your chosen
thinker and your own critical engagement with his or her work. An additional option might be to
consider whether certain current events or specific issues areas are addressed by the concepts and
ideas raised by your thinker, or would current issues present an insurmountable challenge to their
analysis or philosophy? However, there are a few issues that are essential for this assignment: – it’s
brief, so I expect precise language, clear writing, and very few quotations from the thinker – your
voice and your critical engagement should dominate. This is not a summary of a key thinker. You
are expected to contextualize the thinker within the field of surveillance studies and consider what
their contribution is to the field.
CHOOSE ONE THINKER FROM THE FOLLOWING LIST:
William G. Staples
David Murakami Wood