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Children and the ‘new biopolitics of control’: identification, identity and social order

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Youth Justice
Issue number2
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)143-156
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper addresses questions arising from debates surrounding issues of surveillance and privacy in the light of rapid developments in new technologies, specifically electronic databases for information sharing between professionals and agencies. We examine claims that the conjuncture of technology and genetics, producing identification technologies that ‘read’ the body, have heralded the emergence of a ‘biopolitics of control’, paying particular attention to the ways in which children and young people in the UK have become a focus of new control technologies. We argue that current developments, in neglecting the embodied nature of subjectivity, confuse identification with processes of identity formation, thereby contributing to conditions that nurture the problems of social disorder such technology is meant to reduce. This argument raises a set of questions for the law and processes of youth justice that we explore through a discussion of the inclusion of children and young people in the UK DNA data base.