The discipline of watching: Detection, risk, and lateral surveillance

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After considering how surveillance practices discipline the objects of the monitoring gaze, I argue for a focus on the discipline of watching. An era of reflexive skepticism and generalized risk puts a premium on the ability to see through public façades by relying on strategies of detection and verification facilitated by interactive communication technologies that allow users to monitor one another. Interactive communication technologies allow for peer-to-peer surveillance of friends, significant others, and family members. If, in commercial and state contexts, the promise of interactivity serves as a ruse for asymmetrical and nontransparent forms of monitoring, this model of interactivity has also infiltrated the deployment of interactive technologies in personal relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-407
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Governmentality
  • Interactivity
  • Reality TV
  • Risk
  • Room Raiders
  • Surveillance

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