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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1996

Mark Hughes

The research is based upon HRM and technological changes and explanations of these changes offered to employees in the “big four” clearing banks between 1990 and 1994. The…

Abstract

The research is based upon HRM and technological changes and explanations of these changes offered to employees in the “big four” clearing banks between 1990 and 1994. The specific aim of this paper is to suggest that the metaphor of the panopticon aids our understanding of changes in banking in the 1990s. The essence of the panopticon is caught by Foucault in the following quote:

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Management Research News, vol. 19 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Christine Gallagher, David McMenemy and Alan Poulter

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the language utilised in Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) in Scottish public libraries. Through this examination the paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the language utilised in Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) in Scottish public libraries. Through this examination the paper aims to ascertain if power relationships between local authorities, public libraries and users are apparent. Finally, the paper aims to determine if Foucault’s theory of panopticism is relevant to public libraries in this context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses all 32 of the AUPs used in Scottish public libraries, applying a Foucaldian discourse analysis to the content of the policies.

Findings

By thorough examination of the literature the researchers were able to extract ten key features that ought to appear in an AUP. It was found that only one of 32 local authorities included information relating to all of these features. It was also found that one local authority contained as few as four of these key features. The median number of features included in the policies was seven. It was also found that power relationships are evident and can be perceived throughout the AUPs. By identifying the key Foucauldian themes of discipline, surveillance, knowledge, and power and resistance throughout the AUPs, the researchers were able to analyse and identify the existence of power relationships and consider the implications these could have on users and on the library services being provided.

Research limitations/implications

The study examines one geographic region, and is only indicative of the region concerned. In addition the usage of the qualitative methodology utilised could be deemed to have elements of subjectivity.

Practical implications

The study would be of benefit to researchers and professionals interested in issues around AUPs and surveillance of library users.

Originality/value

The use of Foucaldian discourse analysis is limited in library and information science research, and this study helps fill this gap. It is the first study the researchers have found that critically examines a range of public library AUPs.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 71 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2005

Dominique Bessire

Transparency is assumed to improve markets' efficiency, to enhance better corporate governance and finally, to ensure moralisation of business life. The paper aims to the…

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2882

Abstract

Purpose

Transparency is assumed to improve markets' efficiency, to enhance better corporate governance and finally, to ensure moralisation of business life. The paper aims to the realities that prevailing discourses on transparency dissimulate.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a genealogical method is used to explore the theoretical roots, which underpin claims for a greater transparency (reduction of information asymmetry in academic discourses). Second, the analogies between mainstream theories on corporate governance (which legitimate the demand for transparency) and the Panopticon, the famous architecture conceived by Bentham are pinpointed. Finally, the reflections developed by philosophers such as Ricoeur and Henriot on ethics are exploited to explain why transparency is unable to produce the expected effects.

Findings

First, discourses on transparency often conceal reinsurance manœuvres and power struggles. Second, transparency appears as a modernised manifestation of panopticism: a common base (the concept of utility), the same fundamental assumption (the opportunistic nature of man) and a similar answer (discipline). More generally, panopticism and discourses on transparency are embedded in the same utilitarian philosophy which does not grant any space either for responsibility or for ethics and therefore, favours generalised amorality.

Research limitations/implications

As a consequence it is suggested that one should explore the possibility of elaborating an economics theory, which would get rid of the concept of utility and a theory of the enterprise, which would take as key concepts creativity and trust, instead of opportunism.

Originality/value

Through the deconstruction of prevailing discourses on transparency, the paper points to the intrinsic anti‐humanistic character of mainstream economics and organisation theories and suggests alternative issues. It therefore may contribute to both enlightenment and emancipatory aims (in the Habermasian sense).

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2015

Chris Gerald Caulkins

The purpose of this paper is to examine the Golden Gate Bridge (GGB) as a work of art and the role of the bridge in shaping community identity and discourse. Particular…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the Golden Gate Bridge (GGB) as a work of art and the role of the bridge in shaping community identity and discourse. Particular attention is focussed on the discourse surrounding mental illness and suicide, which perpetuate the problem of suicides involving the bridge as a means and mechanism of death. An analysis of the person who attempts or completes suicide is also performed.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple research articles, writings, and a cinematic production are drawn on to frame the argument in terms of Michel Foucault's adaption of Pantopticism Theory and Jacques Lacan's Mirror Theory, which includes the concepts of the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic.

Findings

The GGB is a major factor in shaping the discourse on mental illness and suicide in the San Francisco community. The influences the GGB exerts combines with and exacerbates a culture of stigma, which perpetuates negative discourse and increases the risk of suicides in those already vulnerable.

Research limitations/implications

The research for this paper was performed at a distance and was conducted, with the exception of one personal communication, by literature search and application to theory. Ethnographic research would be a logical next step to study the phenomenon further.

Practical implications

Theory developed from this paper could be used in determining a relevant course of action for adding to existing suicide prevention efforts in the San Francisco Area and any other community with a prominent icon, such as the GGB, that may be exerting a negative influence on the suicide rates of that area.

Social implications

An awareness of how art, culture, and psychology interact would increase awareness of the creation of a stigmatized environment and perhaps precipitate a change in the underlying negative discourse.

Originality/value

This paper takes a fresh look at the phenomenon of violent death by suicide where a physical object/icon (the GGB) is used as a means to die. The particular theories and approach used to explain the interactions that intensify the suicide death rate have never been combined and interwoven in such an interdisciplinary way to seek an explanation.

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Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2017

Abstract

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The Ideological Evolution of Human Resource Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-389-2

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Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2014

Matthew R. Griffis

This exploratory study, a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Western Ontario in 2013, examines the materially embedded relations of power between library…

Abstract

This exploratory study, a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Western Ontario in 2013, examines the materially embedded relations of power between library users and staff in public libraries and how building design regulates spatial behavior according to organizational objectives. It considers three public library buildings as organization spaces (Dale & Burrell, 2008) and determines the extent to which their spatial organizations reproduce the relations of power between the library and its public that originated with the modern public library building type ca. 1900. Adopting a multicase study design, I conducted site visits to three, purposefully selected public library buildings of similar size but various ages. Site visits included: blueprint analysis; organizational document analysis; in-depth, semi-structured interviews with library users and library staff; cognitive mapping exercises; observations; and photography.

Despite newer approaches to designing public library buildings, the use of newer information technologies, and the emergence of newer paradigms of library service delivery (e.g., the user-centered model), findings strongly suggest that the library as an organization still relies on many of the same socio-spatial models of control as it did one century ago when public library design first became standardized. The three public libraries examined show spatial organizations that were designed primarily with the librarian, library materials, and library operations in mind far more than the library user or the user’s many needs. This not only calls into question the public library’s progressiveness over the last century but also hints at its ability to survive in the new century.

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Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-744-3

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Book part
Publication date: 10 May 2000

Janet K. Shim

The inclusion of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and sex/gender in biomedical and epidemiologic research often constitutes routine and taken-for-granted practices…

Abstract

The inclusion of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and sex/gender in biomedical and epidemiologic research often constitutes routine and taken-for-granted practices that are based on particular notions of bodily “differences” and their roles in health and illness. Such practices legitimate constructions of race, class, and gender as attributes of atomistic individuals—rather than as intersectional dimensions that structure social relationships—and render invisible how relations of power contribute to the stratification of well-being and disease. This paper offers applications of two theoretical perspectives to illuminate these arguments. Firstly, epidemiologic research exemplifies in many ways Foucauldian notions of biopower and Panopticism. It individualizes bodies and bodily differences; at the same time, it disindividualizes power, embedding it within the diffuse and pervasive acts of biomedical knowledge production and subsequent imperatives of self-judgment and surveillance. Secondly, epidemiologic research embodies processes of racial, class, and gender formation, and constitutes a kind of racial, class, and gender project. Such projects mediate between the discursive definitions of bodily differences and the institutional forms in which those definitions are routinized and standardized. As such, biomedical knowledge production is an active participant in the construction and institutionalization of social meanings of “difference”. However, my contention is not that we should abandon the epidemiologic use of racial, class, and gender categories. Instead, race, class, and gender must be reconceptualized as social relations of power that are located not just in the biological bodies of individuals but in the social spaces between them, producing and stratifying the distribution of health and illness.

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Health Care Providers, Institutions, and Patients: Changing Patterns of Care Provision and Care Delivery
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-644-2

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2019

Francis Jonathan Gilbert and Margaret Pitfield

This paper focuses on the affordances of and issues surrounding the teaching of George Orwell’s novel 1984 (1949) as a set text for General Certificate of Secondary…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper focuses on the affordances of and issues surrounding the teaching of George Orwell’s novel 1984 (1949) as a set text for General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) English and English Literature in an examination-obsessed and heavily surveilled school system. It considers this by focussing on the classroom practice of a beginning teacher tackling the teaching of this novel for the first time and the newly appointed university tutor who is required to assess her teaching against a prescribed set of national Teachers’ Standards.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study design is used, drawing on data from classroom observation, records of conversations and textual study. These data are analysed with reference to Perryman et al.’s (2018) re-evaluation of Foucault’s Panopticon (1995), a concept which explains how institutions set up surveillance systems in which people’s behaviour is shaped by their feelings of being watched.

Findings

In the context of her practicum school the beginning teacher adopts a particular approach to language study as a vehicle for teaching the novel 1984. This paper argues that such an approach, which finely focuses on the micro-detail of language, prevents teachers and students from seeing the big picture in Orwell’s novel and is therefore contrary to the spirit of his writing. It also restricts teachers from approaching the novel in ways which draw on students’ lived experiences as participants in the highly surveilled education system.

Practical implications

The push for performativity in the current era of schooling ensures that, for English teachers, fear of failing to comply with imposed and implied norms contributes to a prevailing sense of unease about their subject. Thus, persistent pressures of exam preparation and inspection-readiness drive a wedge between their subject knowledge/expertise and the classroom practices prevalent in English teaching.

Social implications

English teachers and teacher-educators are subject to a plethora of “guidelines” which filter through at every level of education and operate in a similar way to the totalitarian figurehead of Big Brother, Orwell’s fictional dictator who dominates 1984. This paper argues that away from Big Brother’s all-seeing eye there are still, however, opportunities for those professional practices that do not fit within such parameters to be discussed, explored and shared.

Originality/value

This paper offers a unique perspective on the teaching of George Orwell at the levels of school student, beginning teacher and teacher-educator. The Big Brother of this paper is not the Stalinist dictator of Orwell’s dystopia, instead manifesting in many different education-related personas. This Big Brother demands compliance with his fuzzy norms (Courtney, 2016; Perryman et al., 2018), rules which are deliberately vague and shifting and if contravened have far-reaching consequences for all concerned in the teaching and learning of English.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1996

Graham Sewell

Seeks to explore the analytical rectitude of comparative culturalist approaches to the explanation of differences in the implementation of technologies in different…

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1000

Abstract

Seeks to explore the analytical rectitude of comparative culturalist approaches to the explanation of differences in the implementation of technologies in different settings. Takes theory and empirical observation from a well‐established case study of the use of information technology in the workplace as a form of worker surveillance (Kay Electronics) and examines a hitherto neglected feature of the company’s reconfiguration of the industrial labour process. Focuses on the realization that the quality monitoring system implemented to support manufacturing in the UK plant was not, as it was initially thought, a direct emulation of a system used in its Japanese sister plant, but was described by the company as a unique approach developed in response to the challenges of a UK manufacturing context.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Abstract

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Young Women's Carceral Geographies: Abandonment, Trouble and Mobility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-050-9

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