Scott Thompson - 2013-2015, Surveillance Studies Centre, Queen's University
Scott Thompson is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Surveillance Studies Center in the Department of Sociology, having completed his doctoral degree at the University of Alberta in Sociology. Scott’s research focuses on the relationship between classification, governance and surveillance technologies. His interest in the topic was sparked by work he conducted with Dr. Gary Genosko concerning the surveillance of drinking behaviors by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). This research was completed as part of his Masters thesis and resulted in his first publications (see www.puncheddrunk.ca).
His PhD dissertation, entitled "Consequences of Categorization: National Registration, Surveillance and Social Control in Wartime Canada, 1939-1946," went on to investigate the social impact of the government's WWII National Registration and mobilization program and how this system’s technologies were used to identify, classify and enforce government policy onto populations – noting specifically how this program sorted the citizens of the country, deciding who was “necessary to their community” and who was “available” to be conscripted into the Armed Forces.
Scott's current work at the SSC continues to stress the relationship between surveillance technologies and governance. Entitled "1944: Surveillance and Social Control in Wartime Britain," this SSHRC-funded project investigates the real surveillance technologies and practices that were employed by the British government during the Second World War, and which inspired Orwell’s dystopian work "1984." Big Brother was watching, and the degree of surveillance achieved even without current day technologies was significant.