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Schools Under Surveillance

Cultures of Control in Public Education

Edited and with an introduction by Torin Monahan and Rodolfo D. Torres

Publication Year: 2010

Schools under Surveillance gathers together some of the very best researchers studying surveillance and discipline in contemporary public schools. Essays cover a broad range of topics including police and military recruiters on campus, testing and accountability regimes such as No Child Left Behind, and efforts by students and teachers to circumvent the most egregious forms of surveillance in public education. Each contributor is committed to the continued critique of the disparity and inequality in the use of surveillance to target and sort students along lines of race, class, and gender.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-18

The imperative to protect children is seldom questioned. It would seem degenerate to do so. But one must wonder what it means when armed police officers roam school hallways, when students line up for more than an hour before class just to get past security screening checkpoints, when...

PART ONE: New Disciplinary Orders: Police, Surveillance, and Inequality in the Carceral School

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1. To Protect, Serve, and Mentor?: Police Officers in Public Schools

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pp. 21-37

A recent report published by the New York Civil Liberties Union (Mukherjee 2007) describes the growth in numbers of police officers and school safety agents (who are under the control of the New York City Police Department) in New York City public schools, and abuses of students and school staff at the hands of these officers. ...

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2. School Surveillance in America: Disparate and Unequal

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pp. 38-54

The importation of surveillance tactics from criminal justice and the military into schools is most commonly attributed to elevated fears of school violence and a growing realization that “it can happen here.” Interestingly, however, the rural and suburban schools where the most extreme...

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3. The Docile Body in School Space

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pp. 55-70

In Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1979), Michel Foucault establishes the particularities of modern power and the practice of punishment by tracing their institutionalization in the prison system. With the prison as his ultimate example, Foucault argues that modern power...

PART TWO: Schools as Markets: Selling Security, Buying Students

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4. Safety or Social Control?: The Security Fortification of Schools in a Capitalist Society

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pp. 73-86

Imagine you are a young person entering a school. This may be the series of events that unfolds: even before entering, you may be recorded by surveillance cameras that have the ability to zoom in and archive the footage that is taken; you may be required to scan an ID card...

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5. Online Surveillance in Canadian Schools

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pp. 87-103

Fifteen years ago, I met a music teacher who was about to receive an award for his innovative use of “new technologies” in the classroom. The teacher was being recognized for using video recording equipment to provide his music students with feedback on performances. ...

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6. “School Ownership Is the Goal”: Military Recruiting, Public Schools, and Fronts of War

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pp. 104-119

The active search for civilian bodies, especially youthful bodies, to transform them into military bodies is a relentless military venture. Finding bodies for war is one aspect of a larger process of societal militarization, which can be understood...

PART THREE: Security Cultures: Preparing for the Worst

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7. Reading, Writing, and Readiness

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pp. 123-139

In 1999, the Department of Justice issued a report entitled The Appropriate and Effective Use of Security Technologies in U.S. Schools. The author of the report, Mary Green, identifies a large number of threats that “can be reduced with appropriate surveillance technology such as cameras, sensors, [and] microdots” (Green 1999, 21). ...

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8. Risky Youth and the Psychology of Surveillance: The Crisis of the School Shooter

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pp. 140-156

Drawing on the work of sociologist Ulrich Beck, Nanette Davis has argued that “surplus-risk” has come to define American adolescents (1999, xiii). Surplus risk is an excessive form of risk above and beyond the normal trials and tribulations that define adolescence. ...

PART FOUR: Accountability Regimes: Tests, Standards, and Audits as Surveillance

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9. “Politics by Other Means”: Education Accountability and the Surveillance State

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pp. 159-174

Stuart Hall famously noted that “Education might be thought of as the pursuit of politics ‘by other means’[;] . . . it is not therefore by chance or in error that every major change in the education structure needs to be understood as being intimately connected to a shift in power”...

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10. The Measure of Success: Education, Markets, and an Audit Culture

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pp. 175-193

In a number of volumes over the past decade, I have critically analyzed the processes of “conservative modernization”—the complicated alliance behind the wave after wave of educational reforms that have centered around neoliberal commitments to the market and a supposedly...

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11. Lying, Cheating, and Teaching to the Test: The Politics of Surveillance Under No Child Left Behind

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pp. 194-209

Mrs. Hill is a middle school teacher in rural Ohio. She is a big fan of the War of 1812, which she uses to teach geography, state history, international relations, history, and social studies. Until a few years ago, she would typically devote several days to covering the war in great detail with student reports, art projects, and maps. ...

PART FIVE: Everyday Resistance: Contesting Systems of Control

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12. Scan This: Examining Student Resistance to School Surveillance

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pp. 213-229

In public schools across the country, students are encountering the effects of a variety of security measures designed to make schools safer. Students enter and exit their schools through metal detectors, scanning machines, and under the suspicious stares and booming shouts of security officials and police officers. ...

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13. Seductions of Risk, Social Control, and Resistance to School Surveillance

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pp. 230-245

Risk and surveillance are inextricably linked. Concerns about threats to well-being tend to give rise to risk-alleviation practices, which often include surveillance of people and situations labeled as potentially dangerous. ...

Contributors

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pp. 247-252

Index

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pp. 253-264


E-ISBN-13: 9780813548265
E-ISBN-10: 0813548268
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813546797
Print-ISBN-10: 0813546796

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Critical Issues in Crime and Society
Series Editor Byline: Raymond Michalowski

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Public schools -- Security measures -- United States.
  • School violence -- United States -- Prevention.
  • Electronic surveillance -- United States.
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