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The surveillance of 'prolific' offenders : beyond 'docile bodies'

McCahill, Michael; Finn, R


R Finn


This article uses ethnographic research to explore how a sample of state-defined ‘prolific’ offenders living in Northern City (a small city in the North of England) experience and respond to a surveillance regime which includes ‘appointments’, ‘tracking’, ‘interviews’, ‘drug testing’, ‘electronic monitoring’, ‘home visits’ and ‘intelligence-led policing’. While some writers have argued that the experience of ‘house arrest’ and electronic monitoring is consistent with ‘disciplinary power’ and the ‘self-governing capabilities’ identified by Foucault, our article interweaves surveillance theory with the work of Pierre Bourdieu to argue that the ‘surveilled’ are a group of creative ‘social actors’ who may negotiate, modify, evade or contest surveillance practices.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Punishment & Society-International Journal Of Penology
Print ISSN 1462-4745
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 1
Pages 23-42
APA6 Citation McCahill, M., & Finn, R. The surveillance of 'prolific' offenders : beyond 'docile bodies'. Punishment and Society, 15(1), 23-42. doi:10.1177/1462474512466198
Keywords REF 2014 submission**