Punched Drunk

Alcohol, Surveillance and the LCBO 1927–1975

By Gary Genosko and Scott Thompson  

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In this critical study of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Scott Thompson and Gary Genosko expose the stakes and consequences of the enormous bureaucracy behind the administrative surveillance of alcohol consumption in Ontario. Since its inception in 1927, the LCBO subjected alcohol consumption to its disciplinary gaze and generated knowledge about the drinking population. This book details how the LCBO tracked all alcohol consumption and capitalized on technological advances in order to generate categories and profiles of individuals so they could “control” drinking in the province. While this is a historical project, it also investigates how categorical treatment of populations like First Nations helped to develop and foster stereo-types around addiction that persist to this day.

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  • Introduction
  • Temperance, Business and Surveillance at the Birth of the LCBO
  • Self-Control and the Panoptic LCBO
  • Accountability: Reconstructing the Fragmented Present
  • A Kind of Prohibition, Part I: Social Sorting in Ontario
  • A Kind of Prohibition, Part II: The Application of the LCBO’s Interdiction List
  • Regulation of Gender Performances and the Interdiction List
  • From Indigenous to Indigent: Legal and Prototypical Classifications of First Nations
  • The Politics of Alcohol Surveillance


  • Gary Genosko

    Gary Genosko is Canada ResearchChair in technoculture in the Department of Sociology at Lakehead University. He is the author of Félix Guattari (2009), editor of The Semiotic Review of Books and co-editor of Deleuze Studies.

  • Scott Thompson

    Scott Thompson is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Victoria. In addition to his publications regarding liquor control, he has published material on National Registration in Canada and the UK.

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