Although sometimes family members engage in monitoring as an extension of governmental surveillance, they also monitor each other, other families, and their own borders to preserve rms about what a family should be and what family members should do. Whether it is the seemingly benign surveillance of using baby monitors, the more obviously intrusive use of home drug tests on teenagers, or the way people in public feel free to judge and comment on the family composition of others, monitoring goes on all the time - and even (or maybe especially) when there seems to be monitoring going on at all.
Margaret K. Nelson is the Hepburn Professor of Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies at Middlebury College. She is the author of five books, including The Social Economy of Single Motherhood: Raising Children in Rural America and the forthcoming title Parenting Out of Control: The Childrearing Style of the Professional Middle Class. Anita Ilta Garey is Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Sociology at the University of Connecticut. Her book Weaving Work and Motherhood was awarded the 2000 William S. Goode Book Award Prize from the Family Section of the American Sociology Association, and she co-edited, with Karen V. Hansen, Families in the U.S.: Kinship and Domestic Politics.