Cops, Cameras and the Policing of Ethics

Theoretical Criminology 20 (4):482-501 (2016)
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In this article, we explore some of the roles of cameras in policing in the United States. We outline the trajectory of key new media technologies, arguing that cameras and social media together generate the ambient surveillance through which graphic violence is now routinely captured and circulated. Drawing on Michel Foucault, we suggest that there are important intersections between this video footage and police subjectivity, and propose to look at two: recruit training at the Washington state Basic Law Enforcement Academy and the Seattle Police Department’s body-worn camera project. We analyze these cases in relation to the major arguments for and against initiatives to increase police use of cameras, outlining what we see as techno-optimistic and techno-pessimistic positions. Drawing on the pragmatism of John Dewey, we argue for a third position that calls for field-based inquiry into the specific co-production of socio-techno subjectivities.



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Meg Stalcup
University of Ottawa

Citations of this work

The Ethics of Police Body-Worn Cameras.Frej Klem Thomsen - 2020 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 7 (1):97-121.

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References found in this work

Lenin and philosophy, and other essays.Louis Althusser - 1971 - New York: Monthly Review Press.
Reconstruction in philosophy.John Dewey - 1921 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications.
Reconstruction in philosophy.John Dewey - 1948 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications.
Reconstruction in philosophy.John Dewey - 1923 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 30 (1):10-11.
Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays.[author unknown] - 1972 - Studies in Soviet Thought 12 (4):402-402.

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