Cultural Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Cleared and Present: Danger in the Personnel Security Clearance System

Martha Deutscher

Major Professor: Hugh Gusterson, PhD, CHSSWeb Design 3

Committee Members: Peter Mandaville, Roger Lancaster

Robinson Hall A, #251
November 19, 2014, 02:00 PM to 12:00 PM

Abstract:

This dissertation critically examines the Personnel Security Clearance System, the process by which the federal government incorporates individuals into secret national security work, and how individuals experience the process. The study investigates the phenomenology of the U.S. secrecy system, paying particular attention to the ways in which security clearance practices discipline and transform individuals who are subject to them. The study elucidates the relationship between individual bodies and state power as articulated in the personnel security clearance process—through the voices of the system’s participants.
Tracing the circuit of the culture of the security clearance process from the moment of its production, through revision and rearticulation, allows insight into the multiple layers of meanings that are embedded in and extracted from the way we think about the personnel security clearance process, national security, patriotism and the state.
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