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Towards a Critical Theory of Surveillance in Informational Capitalism

Thomas Allmer

The aim of this book is to clarify how surveillance in informational capitalism can be theorised. This work constructs theoretically founded typologies in order to systemise the existing literature of surveillance studies and to analyse selected examples. It argues that conventional surveillance theories are insufficient for studying surveillance in general and Internet surveillance in particular. In contrast, a typology of surveillance in informational capitalism, which is based on the foundations of a critical political economy approach, allows to systemise and to analyse (online) surveillance in the spheres of production, circulation, and consumption. In conclusion, political recommendations are drawn in order to overcome surveillance in informational capitalism.

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6. Conclusion

Extract

The overall aim of Towards a Critical Theory of Surveillance in Informational Capitalism was to clarify how we can theorize and systemize surveillance in general and Inter- net surveillance in particular in the modern economy. This work constructed theo- retically founded typologies in order to systemize the existing literature of surveil- lance studies and to analyse examples of surveillance. Therefore, it mainly was a theoretical approach combined with illustrative examples, advanced from the ab- stract to the concrete level. The following figure summarizes the results. Electronic Monitoring and Surveillance Survey, Kroll, Alexa Internet, etc. Foundations of surveillance theory A critical contribution to surveillance studies Foundations of Internet surveillance theory A critical contribution to Internet surveillance studies Figure 9: Towards a critical theory of surveillance in informational capitalism 116 Foundations of surveillance theory were analysed in the second chapter. In the third chapter, a critical contribution to the analysis of surveillance in the modern economy was treated in order to establish a typology of surveillance in the econo- my and to study surveillance in the spheres of production, circulation, and con- sumption. Foundations of Internet surveillance theory were studied in the fourth chapter. Finally in the fifth chapter, a critical contribution to the analysis of Internet surveillance in the modern economy was drawn in order to distinguish Internet surveillance into the spheres of production, circulation, and consumption. Based on these findings, we were able to systemize illustrative examples of (Internet) surveil- lance in the modern economy such as the Electronic Monitoring...

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