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Attaching Hollywood to a surveillant assemblage: normalizing discourses of video surveillance

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Lippert, Randy K; Scalia, Jolina

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Abstract This article examines video surveillance images in Hollywood film. It moves beyond previous accounts of video surveillance in relation to film by theoretically situating the use of these surveillance images in a broader "surveillant assemblage". To this end, scenes from a sample of thirty-five (35) films of several genres are examined to discern dominant discourses and how they lend themselves to normalization of video surveillance. Four discourses are discovered and elaborated by providing examples from Hollywood films. While the films provide video surveillance with a positive associative association it is not without nuance and limitations. Thus, it is found that some forms of resistance to video surveillance are shown while its deterrent effect is not. It is ultimately argued that Hollywood film is becoming attached to a video surveillant assemblage discursively through these normalizing discourses as well as structurally to the extent actual video surveillance technology to produce the images is used.
Keywords film; monitoring; video; United States of America; normalization
Classification Other Media
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 26-38
Journal Media and Communication, 3 (2015) 3
Issue topic Surveillance: critical analysis and current challenges (part II)
ISSN 2183-2439
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution