This special section of The Sociological Quarterly explores research on “surveillance as cultural practice,” which indicates an orientation to surveillance that views it as embedded within, brought about by, and generative of social practices in specific cultural contexts. Such an approach is more likely to include elements of popular culture, media, art, and narrative; it is also more likely to try to comprehend people's engagement with surveillance on their own terms, stressing the production of emic over etic forms of knowledge. This introduction sketches some key developments in this area and discusses their implications for the field of “surveillance studies” as a whole.