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"This Video Call May Be Monitored and Recorded"

Video Visitation as a Form of Surveillance Technology and Its Effect on Incarcerated Motherhood


This article argues that the implementation of video visitation in correctional facilities is a mechanism of control used to enact punitive measures for regulating mothers who act outside the dominant paradigms of motherhood. Because prisons were designed to surveil and mothers have historically been surveilled by institutions, incarcerated mothers are often overlooked when we discuss the surveillance methods used to keep institutionalized motherhood intact. This article builds on existing scholarship characterizing surveillance technology’s role in criminalizing poor mothers of color, and considers the ways in which surveillance technology is used to normalize these mothers during their incarceration. Applying a Foucauldian framework, this article explores how adapting Video Visitation (VV)—a Skype-like video chat program—enables correctional facilities to extend the role of “watcher” and expand the panoptic gaze, which prompts mother-to-mother surveillance and intensifies self-surveillance. The article concludes by drawing attention to VV’s structure and its ability to expand correctional facilities’ surveillance to the children of incarcerated mothers.

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Left Behind by COVID-19

Experiences of “Left-Behind” Girls in Rural China

Jue Wang

it impossible to conduct additional on-site observations or interviews, I made use of video chat technologies as an alternative way of studying the changes to, and challenges of, the focal girls’ lives during COVID-19. Since I had already developed a

Open access

Felix Girke

call or video chat would have compensated. I did not wish to sever the ties that bound me to the field then, and I still do not, but I quite understand if somebody else would have wanted to do so. Van den Scott (2018: 304) correctly states that today

Open access

Covidiots and the Clamour of the Virus-as-Question

Some Reflections on Biomedical Culture, Futurity and Finitude

Bryan Lim

mantra of social isolation, we are instructed to explore new ways of having sex that refrain from physical contact with others; it is hardly surprising, then, that creative uses of masturbation, sex toys, phone sex and video chats have increasingly found

Open access

Exposed Intimacies

Clinicians on the Frontlines of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ellen Block

hospitals, however, staff attempt to reach family members by phone or video chat to keep them informed. Kate, an ICU nurse in Madison, Wisconsin, said she has witnessed many last conversations between patients and their families. She said: ‘Our hospital did

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Redefining Representation

Black Trans and Queer Women’s Digital Media Production

Moya Bailey

In an online video chat with other trans women who had read her memoir, writer and trans advocate Janet Mock discussed her decision to call her book Redefining Realness: My Journey to Womanhood . She says, “I felt like I needed an action, so

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Unexpected Intimacies

An Exploration of the Physician–Patient Relationship during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kelly Colas

ill patients. Due to the hospital policy barring visitors, Juan's family was limited to video chat for a handful of minutes a day. In discussing Juan's case with the critical care attending physician, she expressed feeling that the situation with

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Gianni Barchiesi, Laura T. Di Summa, Joseph G. Kickasola, and Peter Verstraten

Morris's “Interrotron” are becoming more acceptable to audiences because of the rise of autobiographical documentaries, reality TV, and video-chatting. Social actors are more likely to appear on camera and express themselves without the immediate presence