Working through Surveillance and Technical Communication

Concepts and Connections

By Sarah Young

Subjects: Technical Communication, Communication, English, Writing
Series: SUNY series, Studies in Technical Communication
Hardcover : 9781438492766, 192 pages, April 2023
Expected to ship: 2023-04-01

This book addresses contemporary surveillance practices and examines technical communicators' roles in carrying them out.


What is surveillance, and why should we care? Why are those who use technology susceptible to being both agents and targets of contemporary surveillance practices? Working Through Surveillance and Technical Communication addresses these questions, discussing what it means to engage in surveillance, examining why this participation may be problematic, and offering entry points into assessing one's ethical and socially just involvement with surveillance. Further, the book suggests ways to resist both individually and collectively, and it offers pedagogical entry points for those looking to talk about surveillance with others. Led by the central questions, "How are technical communicators also surveillance workers?" and "Why does this matter for technical communication and surveillance scholarship?" the text uses the example of Edward Snowden to illustrate how technical communicators and surveillance workers exist on an often-overlapping range. Sarah Young highlights the potentially discriminatory nature of surveillance and argues that recognizing and evaluating surveillance in is increasingly important in a data-driven world.

Sarah Young is Lecturer in the School of Information at the University of Arizona.