Popular Culture: a User’s Guide
Surveillance and the politics of technological advances.‘Justice’.‘Equality’.‘Freedom’.
These three words are largely associated with politics and can be dated back to the 14th centenary ancient Greece with philosophers such as Aristolote, where the concept of politics and social policies began. Political concepts and movements such as liberalism, feminism, socialism, Marxism and nationalism all fall underneath an umbrella term for political ideology. (Leach R, 2002) Political ideology is a construction of ideas that relates to power, economy and discourse which is classified by the political spectrum and create a discourse. These ideologies and discourses shape social norm’s that directly affect economic, social and cultural developments (Adams I, 2001) thus directly affecting each individual in different ways; one example would be ones leisure lifestyle. Leisure in Britain is principally a creation of modernisation and growth of capital political systems. The Late 19th Centaury and the onset of the industrial revolution saw the occurrence of leisure in society, and in a modern economy is at most is the largest financial budgets of local authorities, and similarly 1997 saw the onset of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). (Roberts K, 2006) The definitions of leisure can evoke many different meanings which creates a paradigm of theories, however as Parker, 1981 suggested the nature of contemporary leisure is associated with freedom, free choice, free time, flexibility and self determination; these qualities thus make it independent from ‘work’ ethics (Rojek C, 2006) however do these qualities make leisure independent from politics, or is an understanding of politics crucial for engaging in leisure pursuits and do current discourse and policies affect our participation in leisure?
Surveillance is a broad concept that can induce numerous meanings. Modern technologies mean that local communities and interpersonal interactions have led to a more diverse global community that can interact endlessly without even being on the same continent. (Haggerty, KD & Samatas, M, 2010) Therefore individuals whose leisure time consumes much of the net or tele-communications and lives in the UK could be being surveyed by the US government or my Gaddafi’s security force. The shift of leisure in the UK has turned from folk culture and mass culture to sub cultures and high culture, these shifts highlight modern technologies and the 20th centauries drive to consume. We now consume leisure time due to the inventions of modern technologies, of which modern interactions begin. (FIND REF) An ever growing modern twist in culture is the prevalence of Social networking sites such as Facebook, which since 2009 has over 250 million users that are regularly using the site. (Zuckerberg, M, 2009). The modern angle of Facebook ‘’embodies the big brother spirit of our generation … [people] are okay with everyone knowing our personal affairs via Facebook, yet we highly protest (and rightfully so) the ever-increasing surveillance that has been imposed on our society post-September 11th.’’ (Kuerschner, J, 2006, pg165)
1. Processed fairly and lawfully.
2. Obtained for specified and lawful purposes.
3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive.
4. Accurate and up to date.
5. Not kept any longer than necessary.
6. Processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights.
7. That there are the proper technical and organisational procedures in place to protect the data against unlawful and unauthorised processing and accidental loss or damage
8. Not transferred to any other country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) without adequate protection in place.
The Big Brother effect, mirrors discourses such as the ‘panopticon’ way of understanding of surveillance. Panopticon illustrates the hierarchical power distribution between who controls society and who is being controlled. Modern surveillances and conspiracy theories concerned with social networking all reflect a dystopian view that mirrors protection and privacy rights. (Albrechtslund A, 2008) The modern shifts in technologies and the uprising number of people using social networking sites have meant that constant monitoring as a panoptic effect has become a part of every day life and the idea of the Orwellian society present in liberal societies. The idea of the Orwellian society through a panoptic lens shows how society is beginning to change from a disciplined society to one of control, organization and containment. The Panopticon surrounding social networking sites and privacy is concerned with the employment of information gathering of individuals in relation to power and control. The ‘objective’ of the panopticon is to limit ‘unsociable’ behaviour, and as a result monitors, ranks and categorizes behaviours. A panopticon society in these terms is closely related to distribution of power linked in to creating a more orderly society. However, the enhancements made upon consumer profiling generated by third party advertising surrounding Facebook generates a power distribution that effectively controls consumer markets that is distributed through orders of power, thus the surveillance in relation to the internet is a innermost element of a capitalist society. (Campbell J & Carlson M, 2002) Modern shifts in surveillance, especially, post September 11th, posted a contemporary shift from Panopticon to ‘Ban-Opticon’, Bigo suggested that a ‘Ban-opticon’ society refers to a constant state of emergency and originates from the International relations and suggestions of a ‘global in-security’ that leads to increased global surveillance to avoid future mass terror and destruction. (Bigo D 2006) Although hierarchies of power create a structured and postmodern view upon surveillance, social networking does induce forms of lateral peer-to-peer systems of surveillance. In terms of lateral peer-to-peer surveillance that forms through social networking privacy concerns are almost magnifies due to awareness the constant surveillance of significant others and colleagues. (Andrejevic M 2005) The awareness of being constantly surveyed will therefore bring around a false profile in term of how people present themselves and self-surveillance will come into effect. Self surveillance and not being able to present yourself as your own right thus again reiterates the Orwellian society.
Surveillance and privacy in terms of Social Networking sites like Facebook creates a paradigm of power relations ranging from cyber protest to containment of data. The value surrounding privacy rights of personal information is difficult as in the eyes of the law it is difficult to establish data as property, as a consequence it’s hard to define unlawful processing of personal information. Sites like Facebook have gained economic and capital power due to containment of the ‘ownership’ of users personal information. (Bennet C & Raas C 2007) Concepts of peer-to-peer and participatory surveillance that creates self-surveillance again form an in-depth value or what Privacy and Surveillance relates, The Orwellian suggests that the idea of self-surveillance through propaganda creating a dystopian society controlled through a modern surveillance government. Around 20% of employers use Facebook as a tool or ensure employees are of the correct social category, they are politically correct and give the company a positive image. (Havenstein, H 2008).
Albrechtslund, A. (2008). Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance. Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet . 13 (3), http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2142
Andrejevic M, 2005. “The work of watching one another: Lateral surveillance, risk, and governance,” Surveillance & Society, volume 2, number 4, pp. 479–497, and at http://www.surveillance-and-society.org/articles2(4)/lateral.pdf, accessed 10/04/2011
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