Departmental Research Projects
Publication detailsGraham, S. Software-sorted geographies. Progress in Human Geography. 2005;29:562-580.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0309-1325, 1477-0288
- DOI: 10.1191/0309132505ph568oa
- Keywords: CCTV, Code, Geodemographics, Inequality, Mobilities, Remediation, Software-sorting, Surveillance, Unbundling.
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
This paper explores the central role of computerized code in shaping the social and
geographical politics of inequality in advanced societies. The central argument is that, while such
processes are necessarily multifaceted, multiscaled, complex and ambivalent, a great variety of
‘software-sorting’ techniques is now being widely applied in efforts to try to separate privileged
and marginalized groups and places across a wide range of sectors and domains. This paper’s
central demonstration is that the overwhelming bulk of software-sorting applications is closely
associated with broader transformations from Keynesian to neoliberal service regimes. To illustrate
such processes of software-sorting, the paper analyses recent research addressing three examples
of software-sorting in practice. These address physical and electronic mobility systems, online
geographical information systems (GIS), and face-recognition closed circuit television (CCTV)
systems covering city streets. The paper finishes by identifying theoretical, research and policy
implications of the diffusion of software-sorted geographies within which computerized code
continually orchestrates inequalities through technological systems embedded within urban
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