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Towards a Critical Theory of Surveillance in Informational Capitalism

Allmer, Thomas

Towards a Critical Theory of Surveillance in Informational Capitalism

Year of Publication: 2012

Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2012. 136 pp., 9 fig., 14 tables
ISBN 978-3-631-63220-8 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.190 kg, 0.419 lbs

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Book synopsis

The aim of this book is to clarify how surveillance in informational capitalism can be theorised. This work constructs theoretically founded typologies in order to systemise the existing literature of surveillance studies and to analyse selected examples. It argues that conventional surveillance theories are insufficient for studying surveillance in general and Internet surveillance in particular. In contrast, a typology of surveillance in informational capitalism, which is based on the foundations of a critical political economy approach, allows to systemise and to analyse (online) surveillance in the spheres of production, circulation, and consumption. In conclusion, political recommendations are drawn in order to overcome surveillance in informational capitalism.


Contents: Critical Social Theory – Critical Media and Communication Studies – Critical Surveillance Studies – Panopticon – Karl Marx – Michel Foucault – Political Economy of Surveillance – Political Economy of the Internet – Workplace Surveillance – Pre-Employment Screening – Intellectual Property Surveillance – Consumer Surveillance.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Thomas Allmer studied Media and Communication at the University of Salzburg and the Victoria University of Melbourne. He is a research associate in the project «Social Networking Sites in the Surveillance Society», funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and a member of the Unified Theory of Information Research Group Austria).