Presentation Title

The Effect of Technological Surveillance under Neoliberalism

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Aaron DeRosa

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 8:45 AM

Location

C305

Session

Oral 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

This project examines the influence of technological surveillance under neoliberalism constructing individual identity and agency. Kazuo Ishiguro’s use of technological surveillance in his novel Never Let Me Go is particularly relevant: while there is no actual government watching the students, there are still rules being applied by the school that act very much like a government, but in a more subtle and dystopian way that enforces conformity. This is what underlies the cloning issue in the novel, that the characters are all forced to be clones and are unaware of it at first. This thus connects to the ironic idea behind the entrepreneurial self, defined as an individual pursuing success all by themselves. Since the cause of technological surveillance is the need by an institution to control individuals to bend to their will, then the effect of this surveillance is that the individuals become the entrepreneurial self through their own states of isolation. The effect that this conformity has on the individuals’ mentalities causes them to try to become entrepreneurs to be successful and to escape the conformities of surveillance. The clones’ experience of surveillance in Ishiguro’s novel demonstrates the debilitating impact of neoliberalism on the expression of selfhood.

Keywords:

Technological surveillance; Neoliberalism; American Corporate Capitalism; Selfhood

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 8:45 AM

The Effect of Technological Surveillance under Neoliberalism

C305

This project examines the influence of technological surveillance under neoliberalism constructing individual identity and agency. Kazuo Ishiguro’s use of technological surveillance in his novel Never Let Me Go is particularly relevant: while there is no actual government watching the students, there are still rules being applied by the school that act very much like a government, but in a more subtle and dystopian way that enforces conformity. This is what underlies the cloning issue in the novel, that the characters are all forced to be clones and are unaware of it at first. This thus connects to the ironic idea behind the entrepreneurial self, defined as an individual pursuing success all by themselves. Since the cause of technological surveillance is the need by an institution to control individuals to bend to their will, then the effect of this surveillance is that the individuals become the entrepreneurial self through their own states of isolation. The effect that this conformity has on the individuals’ mentalities causes them to try to become entrepreneurs to be successful and to escape the conformities of surveillance. The clones’ experience of surveillance in Ishiguro’s novel demonstrates the debilitating impact of neoliberalism on the expression of selfhood.

Keywords:

Technological surveillance; Neoliberalism; American Corporate Capitalism; Selfhood