Professor William G. Staples
IICSSHawaii2017 Featured Speaker
University of Kansas, USA
As a Featured Speaker at The IAFOR International Conference on the Social Sciences – Hawaii 2017 (IICSSHawaii2017), Professor William G. Staples of the University of Kansas, USA, will talk about in-depth interviews with a sample of students, parents, teachers and school administrators to derive accounts of how student information systems (SIS) operate and how these participants experience life with an SIS. His full abstract is available to read below.
William G. Staples is the 2016-17 Paul and Helen Roofe Professor of Sociology, Chair of the Department of Sociology, and Founding Director of the Surveillance Studies Research Center at the University of Kansas. He received his PhD from the University of Southern California and was a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA. Staples is well known internationally for his work in the areas of social control and surveillance. He is the author of five books and dozens of articles and chapters. His most recent work is the second edition of Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility in Postmodern Life, considered a foundational work in the interdisciplinary field of surveillance studies. Staples is a former co-editor of Sociological Inquiry and The Sociological Quarterly, and is currently associate editor of Surveillance & Society, the international journal of the Surveillance Studies Network.
Featured Presentation: Everyday Surveillance: A Case Study of Student Information Systems
In my book, Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility in Postmodern Life (2014), I focus attention on the relatively mundane techniques of keeping a close watch on people – what I have dubbed the “Tiny Brothers” – that are increasingly present in the workplace, the school, the home and the community. I show how our bodies, behaviors and movements are being tracked by a host of public and private organizations – sometimes with our consent, sometimes without – through Internet use, cell phones, video cameras, credit cards, license plate readers, loyalty shopping cards, and more. One example of this phenomenon I highlight is Internet-based student information systems (SIS) that offer students, parents, teachers and administrators immediate access to differentially detailed student profiles. Students can check their grades, parents can see if their child is in class, access assignments, and view a teacher’s grade book in “real-time”, and administrators can review student demographic data, behavior and disciplinary files, health records and family information, teachers’ comments to students and parents, and more. I will report on in-depth interviews with a sample of students, parents, teachers and school administrators to derive accounts of how the SIS actually operates and how these participants experience life with an SIS. Interviewees report that the SIS increases communication among school stakeholders, while their responses suggest that in doing so the systems intensify the performance and behavior monitoring of students and encourages micro-level assessments of their everyday lives.