9th May 2007


Seminar Series: May 2007

Watching the Degenerate: Urban Surveillance, Class and Control

  Roy Coleman (School Sociology and Social Policy, University of Liverpool )

Joint Seminar with the Scottish Centre for Crime and Social Justice Research (SCCJR)


Friday, 11 May 2007 at 3.30 p.m. (Room T315, Adam Smith Building )




As cities attempt to re-image, re-market and re-invent themselves in the context of regional, national and international inter-urban competition, a re-emphasis on the aesthetics of ‘street life’ is being crafted through contemporary state forms. In this context, crime control can be understood beyond a mere technical exercise and instead seen as being informed by a class based notion of visually pleasing and performative space. The prioritisation of the visual over the social seen in the UK through the use of anti-social behaviour sweeps, byelaws and CCTV acts to disqualify relatively powerless groups from full social acceptance, while at the same time deregulating and opening up the spaces of manoeuvre for the powerful. The paper today explores these shifts in crime control that entails a reconfiguration of class relations and indeed the policing and surveillance of classed subjects. The talk will conclude in considering whether social forms of control are diminishing in the face of a creeping violence aimed at marginal groups in an emerging post-social’ urban order.


For further details of this Seminar (including final confirmation) please contact Betty Johnstone ( b.johnstone@socsci.gla.ac.uk ) on 330 4121. After the Seminar, refreshments will be served in Coffee Area of 25 Bute Gardens .