Liquid London: Sporting spectacle, britishness and ban-optic surveillance.

Manley, A. and Silk, M., 2014. Liquid London: Sporting spectacle, britishness and ban-optic surveillance. Surveillance and Society, 11 (4), 360 - 376.

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Under the rubrics of recent 'terror' attacks-especially 9/11 and 7/7-the discourses of security and surveillance, and the subsequent heightened awareness of risk and insecurity, have been framed within an increasingly global context. Through an appropriation of the ban-opticon dispositif (Bigo 2006, 2011), this article analyses the changing urban transformations of civic space and mediated messages perpetuated within, and through, the London 2012 Olympic Games. In so doing, we deconstruct the spatial and commercial (re)fashioning of London 2012 and key messages delivered throughout the opening ceremony via a postpanoptic lens, to identify how processes of both 'hard' and 'soft' social control are reiterated and (re)configured through the establishment of a clearly delineated 'other', that which is deemed 'unwelcome' and situated as posing a threat to the safety of the normalised and accepted majority. Thus, through a reading of the cultural politics of class, race and gender that are embedded within sporting spectacle, we argue that London 2012 capitalised on an institutionalised culture of fear to convey, and thus contain, an accepted vision of multiculturalism, while legitimising surveillance practices and security measures that became ingrained within the urban landscape and social fabric of the nation's capital. In so doing, we point towards a troubling yet all too tangible true London Olympic legacy, one that identifies and subjects specific yet significant 'others' to problematic forms of social control and corporeal governance. © The author(s), 2014.

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Management
ID Code:22046
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:08 Jun 2015 12:51
Last Modified:02 Aug 2016 11:53


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