CCTV SURVEILLANCE AND THE CIVIC CONVERSATION: A STUDY IN PUBLIC SOCIOLOGY

Dan Lett, Sean Hier, Kevin Walby

Abstract


The captivating idea of ‘public sociology’ has recently been debated across the social sciences. Although the debate has raised significant questions about the status of sociological knowledge production, insufficient attention has been devoted to thinking about how sociologists concretely enter into a civic conversation through the research process. Addressing this gap in the public sociology literature, we present partial findings from a Canada-wide investigation of how public-area streetscape video surveillance systems are implemented in various communities to think through some of the implications of actually doing public sociology. Data gleaned from focused group interviews in the City of Kelowna, British Columbia are presented to explore the challenges of facilitating a civic conversation about public policy on streetscape video surveillance.

Keywords


public sociology; public-area video surveillance; Burawoy; focus groups; public opinion; CCTV

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