Legitimering af overvågning i det britiske postvæsen 1635-1710

Kristian Mølengracht, Mohamoud Abdi, Bjarke Trebbien Nielsen & Maiken Bisgaard Mortensen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatprojekt


This project investigates how the postal laws of 1635, 1657, 1660 and 1710 legitimized surveillance in England. Furthermore we investigate how the Postal Service of England was used as an instrument by the establishment to disguise surveillance.

Through the use of Max Weber’s theory Legitimate Authority and Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of symbolic violence and informational capital, we explore how the British Government at the time established a fog of symbolic violence surrounding the legitimation of surveillance. Through our investigation we have found that surveillance has played a significant role in the British Postal Service between 1635 and 1710. Furthermore, we find that these mechanisms have been kept secret to the public.

We conclude that the process of legitimation, and thus the symbolic violence, is therefore dependent on the dominant authority in society to inherit the surveillance mechanism and thus retain the potential to create information capital and thus strengthen the authoritarian power through the exploitation of the Postal Service. Surveillance in the postal service must therefore be regarded as an instrument of the exercise of power and repression, creating the illusion of authority and credibility woven into the emblems of power that adorn the uniform of the postman.

UddannelserHistorie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Antal sider39
VejledereEmil Lauge Christensen


  • Post
  • Postvæsenet
  • Dorislaus
  • Overvågning
  • Symbolsk Vold
  • Informationskapital
  • Bourdieu
  • Weber
  • Social alkymi
  • herredømmer
  • tåge