9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN29 Social Theory

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Contemporary Social Theory: Sociology of Contemporary Society Building AA, AA.326

From the disciplinary society to the society of control: surveillance over immigrants from Turkey in Germany

Surveillance over immigrants from Turkey in Germany is a means of inclusion and exclusion in order to portray them as "(un)suitable" foreign subjects. This surveillance is slowly but surely changing its character, which raises the question of whether this might be explained by the supposed shift from the disciplinary society to the society of control. The aim of this paper is to examine particular characteristics of the so-called disciplinary and control societies on the basis of surveillance over immigrants from Turkey. The paper offers an empirical complement to the Deleuzean perspectives.
Surveillance is related to a decision-making system that Germany exploits to direct life-productive capacities of migrant workers and immigrants into appropriate spaces. The surveillance practices of the German state in the post-WWII period were more associated with the characteristics of the so-called disciplinary society. Surveillance practices in the period of so-called political-economic restructuring during the 1970s, 1980s and the early 1990s were still showing the characteristics of the so-called disciplinary society. This was a transition period as well. The period was revealing the clear signs of the coexistence of disciplinary and control paradigms. At the turn of the 21st century, the surveillance practices of the German state were carrying fundamentally the characteristics of the so-called society of control. But, disciplinary measures were also in use. Today, German society seems to experience the early phases of the control paradigm rather than the late stages of the disciplinary framework.
In this paper, Deleuze's thesis is utilized as a guideline and at the same time is rendered as an object of sociological criticism. The paper does not examine surveillance over immigrants from Turkey in Germany on the basis of the characteristics of the so-called disciplinary and control societies. It questions the characteristics of the so-called disciplinary and control societies on the basis of surveillance over immigrants from Turkey. The ultimate aim of the paper is to assess the sociological relevance of Gilles Deleuze's thesis.