Exercising Control at the Urban Scale: Towards a Theory of Spatial Organisation and Surveillance

  • Alan ReeveEmail author


The purpose of this chapter is to explore how urban spaces are implicated in the control and surveillance of users in a culture saturated by the notion of the self as a consuming body or entity. Using the work of Foucault on disciplinary cultures, Lefebvre in relation to the production of space, and other seminal theorists such as Baudrillard, Bauman, Shields, and Walzer, a model for analysing the three dimensions of social spatialisation is proposed and illustrated by reference to contemporary public spaces, and specifically spaces of mundane leisure such as shopping malls and high streets. The chapter deals with how the public realm as a controlling space has been theorised in terms of opposition to such controlling tendencies—from the flaneur, through the self-constructed narratives of De Certeau’s walker to the digitally ‘enhanced’ individual today, appropriating space via technology and their own projects in tinder and so on, and other potentially subversive media.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK

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