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Does the end justify the means?Information systems and control society in the age of pandemics

Abstract : As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, governments across the globe are enforcing various Information Systems (IS)-based systems of control that, we contend, augur a new organisation of our freedoms, raising concerns related to issues of surveillance and control. Presented as ways to curb the immediate progression of the pandemic, these systems have progressively appertained our lives, thus becoming the new “normal”. Drawing from the concept of “control societies” developed by Deleuze, we explore how, through a logic of “the end justifies the means”, these new systems are being normalised. Beyond Deleuzian studies that describe modern society as a control society, we contend that Deleuze provides useful insights to critically analyse the progressive “normalization” of new forms of digitally enabled control, as well as the implications of this normalisation process. The analysis of this normalisation process highlights the ways in which the current pandemic and its response (i.e., new forms of technological control) are “sociomaterially constructed” through a historic, discursive, and material process. Contributing to MIS research on privacy and surveillance, this reflection on the sociomaterial construction of the control society and of its digitally enabled control systems during the current COVID-19 crisis paves the way to possible forms of resistance and solutions.
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Contributor : Isabelle Celet Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 3:51:56 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 2:26:16 PM

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Aurélie Leclercq-Vandelannoitte, Jeremy Aroles. Does the end justify the means?Information systems and control society in the age of pandemics. European Journal of Information Systems, 2020, pp.1-16. ⟨10.1080/0960085X.2020.1820912⟩. ⟨hal-03048886⟩



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