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Sustainability through surveillance: ICT discourses in design documents
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Surveillance & Society, ISSN 1477-7487, Vol. 11, no 1/2, 177-189 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, I examine design documents from three different ICT design and development projects. I argue that they present intersecting visions of sustainability entailing the wide-spread use of ICT, describe the properties of users compatible with such ICT, and provide ways of judging the users. In the design documents, the inhabitants are made individually responsible for living sustainably, and surveillance is positioned as integral to this future with the help of ICT. Underlying the visions, I identify a translation process that captures the traces of the inhabitants' lives, classifies them according to different criteria of sustainable living, and returns them to the tapestry of everyday life to convince the users to behave differently. In the discourses of these documents, surveillance translates the traces, and the translations exert new pressures on existing power relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 11, no 1/2, 177-189 p.
Keyword [en]
ICT, surveillance, design, discourse, translation, sustainability
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92954OAI: diva2:643429
Available from: 2013-08-27 Created: 2013-08-27 Last updated: 2013-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Informed Gaze: On the Implications of ICT-Based Surveillance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Informed Gaze: On the Implications of ICT-Based Surveillance
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Information and communication technologies are not value-neutral. I examine two domains, public health surveillance and sustainability, in five papers covering: (i) the design and development of a software package for computer-assisted outbreak detection; (ii) a workflow for using simulation models to provide policy advice and a list of challenges for its practice; (iii) an analysis of design documents from three smart home projects presenting intersecting visions of sustainability; (iv) an analysis of EU-financed projects dealing with sustainability and ICT; (v) an analysis of the consequences of design choices when creating surveillance technologies. My contributions include three empirical studies of surveillance discourses where I identify the forms of action that are privileged and the values that are embedded into them. In these discourses, the presence of ICT entails increased surveillance, privileging technological expertise, and prioritising centralised forms of knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2013. 68 p.
SICS dissertation series, ISSN 1101-1335 ; 66Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 13-006
ICT, discourse, surveillance, design, sustainability, outbreak detection
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects Human Aspects of ICT Other Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92956 (URN)978-91-7447-669-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-15, sal C, Forum 100, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 13:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-09-23 Created: 2013-08-27 Last updated: 2013-09-13Bibliographically approved

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