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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3ZH7C

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Consequences of Categorization: National Registration, Surveillance and Social Control in Wartime Canada, 1939-1946 Open Access

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Other title
Subject/Keyword
Canada
Surveillance
Social Control
Mobilization
Categorization
Conscription
National Registration
Governance
Performative Failure
World War Two
Categorical Tightness
WWII
National Register
Performativity
Zombie
Identity Card
Categories
Technologies of Governance
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Thompson, Scott N
Supervisor and department
Haggerty, Kevin (Sociology)
Examining committee member and department
Aitkin, Rob (Political Science)
Marx, Gary (Sociology)
Clement, Dominique (Sociology)
Himka, John-Paul (History)
Moure, Kenneth (History)
Department
Department of Sociology
Specialization

Date accepted
2012-12-21T12:24:26Z
Graduation date
2013-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
This dissertation takes up the question of how socially constructed bureaucratic classifications can become central elements in governing individual action, shaping everyday life and mediating the performances of individual identity. Drawing on the work of Foucault, Butler, Bowker and Star, this work demonstrates the link between classification, governing rationalities, technologies, performative acts and identity formation. In particular, it approaches the role of technologies through a conceptualization of classifications as the means through which the content of governing rationalities can be taken up and expressed through implemented technologies. It argues that this can be done in such a way as to mediate, or tighten, classifications and their related performances onto individuals and populations. By adopting the concept of performativity and sedimentation, this work demonstrates how the repeated governed acts, or forced performances, related to conscription in Canada during the Second World War ultimately resulted in the formation of a particular identity for NRMA or Zombie soldiers within popular culture and within this population of mobilized men. This dissertation will focus on two key branches of investigation – first on the technologies themselves, encompassing the historical moments of their generation, their adoption of particular classifications informed by set governing rationalities and their relative effectiveness in tightening the classifications of the National Registration system onto targeted individuals and populations. Second this dissertation demonstrates the impact that the forced performances of acts related to the category of “conscripted soldier” had on the men who were called into service. The goal of this work is not only to review this historical period in Canadian history, but also to draw this knowledge into contemporary debates about national ID cards, immigration and status cards, citizenship papers, and population management.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3ZH7C
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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