Surveillance, Control and Technology: A Study of the Supermarket Sector in São Paulo

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Leonardo OSTRONOFF, USP, Brazil
The subject of this research is the possibility of formation of a control culture in contemporary society and its consequences in daily work. The purpose of this research was the control and surveillance systems in hypermarkets. We investigated the video surveillance systems, which includes employees, but also customers, the watchmen and all those who are within the stores. This video surveillance is a system which control bodies and behaviors in several spaces of our actual society. Observing local stores of the three largest supermarket groups in São Paulo: Carrefour, Multivarejo (Pão-de-Açúcar) and Wal- Mart, the question we tried to answer were how surveillance is organized in workspaces through control bodies. The criterion for selection was sales, number of stores and employees. In recent years these three major retail companies increased their investments in security and surveillance technologies. A lucrative market around the security systems was developed, emerging specialized companies that brought innovations in technology for retail. Some important companies in the technology industry are monitoring the Arius and Tyco Fire & Integrated Security, both working in Brazil. Through direct observation of surveillance systems was also possible to investigate the punishment systems created in stores. Thus, both the monitoring and the punishment were contemplated. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with customers, employees and executives of the stores management and logistics levels. The management manuals and working procedures of the three major companies selected were also be research sources. The work control by technologies of surveillance is a way to management people through their bodies. However, it is important to note the difference it in relation to previous studies: this study is not limited to ways employed to increase productivity, but it relates to how control is exercised in the store space on people bodies in all its expressions.