Learning from audio-visual material: Introducing surveillance
Learning from audio-visual material: Introducing surveillance

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Learning from audio-visual material: Introducing surveillance

2 Note taking from an audio visual text

The first important point to make is that note taking is more than a process of summarising everything that you see; it must be an active process of engaging with the material and thinking it through for yourself. In the videos, the multidimensional nature of the visual images and the stories they convey means that you will not be able to take in everything on first viewing. The videos allow us to present visual as well as audio information and in a form that makes it easier for you to revisit the material and think about it in different ways. We strongly encourage you to view the videos several times. The videos are all relatively short, so try not to look for too much depth; they simply provide an introduction to some very complex issues about being ‘watched over’ and ‘watched out for’ (and the relationship between social welfare and crime control). In each video, there are three main kinds of information and evidence on which you can draw to help you to understand these issues: visual images, the commentary, and the voices and experiences of the people interviewed. ‘Learning from the video’ takes you through each of these in some detail.

These initial points will help to guide your subsequent viewings and indicate any sections of the video on which you wish to focus. On your second viewing, you will need to take detailed notes as you view each video. Remember that you should not be trying to write everything down. After all, that would be like copying out a book word for word! Instead, make notes that, for you, summarise the key points of the video.

You should also note down any evidence that backs up these key points. In order to keep your notes well organised, and be an active learner, you may find it helpful to draw a framework or grid for each video on which to identify key points, the evidence and also some links to the wider themes. Table 1 below demonstrates what we mean by this, drawing on some examples from Section 4.2 ‘Introducing surveillance’. As you make notes, you might find yourself asking some additional questions, and you may be able to make connections between points that arise in different parts of the course. You may wish to add these to your notes – as we have done in the third column of the table.

Table 1: Reflecting on evidence and entanglements in Section 4.2

Key points Evidence
The shopping centre provides a safe place in which people can exercise and meet other people Interviews with mall walkers who explain why the mall walking facility is important for them The provision and use of this facility makes people feel protected and safe. It is one response to a fear of crime. People are expected to take responsibility for their own health, well-being and security
The shopping centre works with government agencies to provide welfare services and promote the social inclusion of disadvantaged young people Interview with Will telling his experiences why he became involved in the learning centre and how he has become a mentor to other children referred there; images of Will leading a dance class for other children Targeted social services are provided for people who are identified as being ‘at risk’ or vulnerable, and to those identified as being ‘a risk’ or a threat to the local community and wider society. People who are labelled as presenting a risk to themselves and others might also make positive contributions to other people's welfare and to society more generally
The shopping centre is a highly secured, actively monitored and policed space. Peter Cook, the manager of the shopping centre, explains the different types of security technology and staff working in the centre Interview with Peter Cook; images of different kinds of uniformed security staff Security needs to be understood in relation to insecurity. People's sense of being safe in a shopping centre may be reinforced by the visible presence of security staff and policy officers. But is a security presence also a constant reminder to people of crime and their fears of it? And can those who are paid to ‘watch over’ us be trusted to use the information responsibly?
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