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Researchand InquiryGroup Presentation

Jonathan Dalgliesh , Lisa FayeNajiaHaimd, Cheryl Manalo

& Charlotte Wong

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Scenario 5

Increasingly we live in a surveillance society that governments justify by claiming it keeps communities safe by combating the threat of terrorism. Assume you are a researcher working for the Mayor of a metropolitan city. Design a research approach that identifies the relevant issues so that they might be discussed at a community meeting of residents.Position –EpistemologicalCritical and Post-structuralist / Feminist

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City of Sydney

Boundaries includes:

The Rocks & Circular Quay

Centennial Park



Rushcutter’s Bay

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Narrow down research area and focus uponSydney City / CBD

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What is terrorism?

‘The use of methods to induce terror, especially the use of violence to achieve political ends.’

Source: Macquarie Dictionary

‘Terrorism is understood as a type of violence. Many definitions highlight the experience of terror or fear as the proximate aim of that violence nor terror is inflicted for its own sake, but rather for the sake of a further aim such as coercion, or some more specific political objective.’

Source: Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy

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Background on Close Circuit Television (CCTV)

Post 9/11 surveillance development shaped democratic processes which increasingly justify governments to increase surveillance in the interest of national security.

Source – Haggerty & Samatas (2010)


In 2005, ex-Prime Minister Howard visited London post the second of two bomb attacks on the public transport system, announcing:

“I think of all the things I have taken out of the few days that I have been in London, none has been more powerful than the huge value of surveillance cameras.”

He also subsequently offered in an interview about CCTVs that they are:

“ a real plus in catching people” and

“in certain circumstances....act as a deterrent”

Source – Brew (2005, p.1)

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Background on CCTV

QLD State Minister for Transport and Main Roads,

Paul Lucas declared that what must be

understood is that CCTVs

do not provide a prior warning and do nothing to prevent the terrorist attack from taking place in the first place.

CCTV footage assists afterterrorists have struck.

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Background on CCTV

Annual operating costs of selected CCTV systems as at 2003:

Source – Wilson and Sutton (2003).

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Background on CCTV

Additionally , identifiable hidden costs of maintaining CCTV include:

  • lighting upgrades

  • signage

  • removal of visual obstructions (such as trees)

  • vandal resistance

  • training of staff to operate the cameras

  • ongoing maintenance

  • auditing and evaluation the surveillance system.

    Source – Brew (2005, p.4)

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Street Surveillance

What policies already exist for street surveillance in the city of Sydney:

Street Safety Camera Program

Street Safety Camera Program – Code Of Ethics

(21 pages)

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How many CCTV cameras are located in the Sydney CBD area?



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Background on CCTV

CCTV privacy fears raised

(BBC footage):

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Research question....???

Is street surveillance effective in the City of Sydney in combating terrorism?

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If we were presenting these research perspectives



Epistemological approach

  • Testable, objective truth which is verifiable from the data

  • Approaches – scientific, correlation

    approach, quantitative data

  • Method – surveys

  • Data - statistically analysed

Epistemological approach

  • Truth is partial and relative, researcher is engaged subjectively

  • Approaches - ethnography

  • Method- narratives via audio / video recordings

  • Data-words/film which requires interpretation

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Critical Theory

Epistemological Position

  • Knowledge is located in a social and cultural contexts and imbued with power.

  • Researcher seeks to uncover/understand social inequalities and act to eliminate them.

  • Researcher is actively engaged with the world, and seeks to change it.

  • Truth is partial, relative and imbued with power

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Critical Theory


  • Participatory action research

  • Critical ethnography

  • Appreciative enquiry


  • Interviews, observations etc – must also involve some form of social action


  • Data involves words and actions, requires interpretation and reflection

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Post-structuralist / feminist

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Post-structuralist / feminist

Epistemological Position

  • Knowledge is inherently culture-bound, discursive and imbued with (productive) power.

  • Researcher seeks to disrupt assumptions about world, in order to critique power relations.

  • Researcher and the world are constructed and constituted by discourse.

  • Truth (s) is multiple, partial, perspective and can only be known through discourse

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Post-structuralist / feminist


  • Deconstruction Foucauldian archeology and genealogy


  • Interviews, observations, etc – treated as texts, discursive and semiotic analysis of texts


  • Data involves words or images and requires deconstruction

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Ethical Research

Unlike Galton who unethically used children for research purposes and whilst Thorndike used chickens...

our research methods will in no way endanger human life nor harm animals.

Nisbet (2005, p.29-31)

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Ethical Research

Principles which need to guide social research include ‘informed consent’, ‘privacy’, ‘confidentiality’ and ‘anonymity’.

Bulmer in Ramcharan & Cutcliffe(2001, p. 359)

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The research debate

As a researcher working for the mayor of a metropolitan city - who is funding the study?


Yates (2004, p.31) discusses the issues surrounding research in that funding can start to define research practices – in terms of what can be done and then including what is counted as legitimate research.

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GeorgeOrwell's 1949 novel called ‘1984’

depicts a totalitarian government

bent on total manipulation of its citizens.

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References (edit)

  • British Broadcasting Corporation 2010, CCTV Privacy fears raised, BBCTV, viewed 4 October 2010, <>.

  • Brew, N. 2005, An overview of the effectiveness of closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance,Commonwealth of Australia, viewed 1 October 2010, <>.

  • City of Sydney 2010, City of Sydney Local Government Area, The Council of the City of Sydney, viewed 4 October 2010, <>.

  • City of Sydney 2010, Sydney CBD Access Map, The Council of the City of Sydney, viewed 4 October 2010, <>.

  • City of Sydney 2010, Street Safety Camera Program, The Council of the City of Sydney, viewed 4 October 2010, <>.

  • City of Sydney 2010, Street Safety Camera Program Code of Practice 2010, The Council of the City of Sydney, viewed 4 October 2010, <>.

    Haggerty & Samatas (2010)

  • MisterMaxHeadroom2008, 1984 George Orwell Movie Trailer 1984, video recording, viewed 4 September 2010, <>.

  • Nisbet, J. 2005, ‘What is educational research? Changing perspectives through the 20th century’, Research Papers in Education, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 25-44.

  • Ramcharan, P. & Cutcliffe , J.R. 2001, ‘Judging the ethics of qualitative research: considering the ‘ethics as process’ model, Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, no. 6 , pp. 358-366.

    Wilson, D. & Sutton, A. 2003, ‘Open-Street CCTV in Australia’, Trends & Issues, no. 271, Australian Institute of Criminology’.

  • Yates, L. 2004, What does good educational research look like? Situating a field and its practices, Open University Press, Maidenhead and New York, Chapter 1, pp. 15-35.