Surviving the electronic panopticon: New lessons in democracy, surveillance, and community in young adult fiction

Mallan, Kerry M. (2015) Surviving the electronic panopticon: New lessons in democracy, surveillance, and community in young adult fiction. In Araya, Daniel (Ed.) Smart Cities as Democratic Ecologies. Palgrave Macmilan, New York, pp. 142-158.

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Abstract

The ability of new information and communication technologies to pierce previously impenetrable physical, personal, and social boundaries has particular relevance to contemporary society and young people as there is now more information that can be collected, accessed, and distributed about individuals and groups. The ability to know about each other has become a central feature of many young people’s lives. The need to know is further complicated by other questions – Who knows? What do they know? What are the implications of this knowledge?. These questions are a consequence of society having become more mobile and networked enabling increased surveillance, tracking, and spreading of dis/information. With the acceleration of new pervasive and immersive technologies, these questions have taken on a new urgency and significance that go beyond an Orwellian Big Brother scenario. This chapter extends Foucault’s notion of the panopticon to take account of the challenges of an AmI environment of smart networked devices. By drawing on examples of recent young adult fiction, I examine some of the ways in which these texts invite their readers to reflect and speculate on the uneasy relationship between surveillance and democracy and what this means for individual rights and freedom, and a sense of place and belonging.

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ID Code: 76326
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: dystopia, cities, young adult fiction, surveillance, smart technologies
ISBN: 9781137377197
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Palgrave Macmilan
Deposited On: 24 Sep 2014 22:49
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2016 05:32

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