The juxtaposition of older and recent Olympic Identity and Accreditation Cards on the front cover is an invitation to reflect on the subject of this book, namely a historical and comparative look at how surveillance and security have been serving as means to cope with complexity and uncertainty of the Olympic Games. In the Olympic circles, these identity cards are associated with what is known as “accreditation.” This is a surveillance procedure that makes it possible to manage membership by regularly updating databases on participants and, at the same time, control access to the Games by designing patterns of spatial mobility and social interaction within the Olympic space. Today, the Olympic space has become a maximally controlled enclosure, which separates insiders from outsiders — those who are allowed to enter the space and others who remain outside. Within the enclosure, these identity cards divide the insiders into two general categories: spectators who hold admission tickets for specific competitions or ceremonies and other participants who are “accredited” for entering other areas of the Olympic enclosure. To be “accredited” means to be subjected to precise identification and clear classification into categories of privilege. These correspond to segmentation of the enclosure into subareas that are themselves stratified on the basis of privilege of access. The various codes and designations on the cards are pictorial abstractions of how this procedure of hierarchy of classification of participants works. As such, they provide some insights into how its process may have evolved over time.
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- The Olympic Games as Complex Planned Event: Between Uncertainty and Order Through Security Meta-ritual
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