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Surveillance and Moral Community: Anthropologies of Monitoring in Germany and Britain

Descrizione del progetto

Indagare la moralità della sorveglianza

Le tecnologie di sorveglianza sono diventate una parte importante della nostra quotidianità. La loro diffusione ha trasformato molti aspetti delle nostre vite, ma rimangono ancora aperte alcune domande sulle loro implicazioni morali. Il progetto SAMCOM, finanziato dall’UE, intende migliorare la nostra comprensione della sorveglianza, indagando come questa si integra nelle comunità morali e come viene utilizzata dalle persone per beni e servizi. Inoltre, spiegherà come la sorveglianza influenza il benessere umano a livello individuale e nazionale, e determinerà come essa possa essere considerata morale o immorale. L’obiettivo del progetto è fare comprendere meglio al pubblico quali tipi di sorveglianza possono aiutarci o addirittura danneggiarci nell’ambito della vita quotidiana.

Obiettivo

Surveillance—the mediated monitoring of human behaviour for some intended purpose—has become part of the structure of European life. As ubiquitous monitoring technologies transform every new relationship that they mediate, there is grave concern that the social gains of past centuries will be lost, as states and large corporations use these technologies to expand and entrench their own power. Scholars of surveillance have been following these developments since the 1970s, but recently have faced the paradox that most surveillance now takes place with the active collaboration of the surveilled. Moreover, the enthusiasm for self-monitoring popularized through smart technologies has been met by many surveillance scholars with bewilderment. Why would people choose to enter relationships objectively deemed to be coercive?

This project takes a new approach to how we understand surveillance. I embark on the first sustained inquiry into the association between surveillance and moral community, between practices of ‘watching over’ and the presence of a group of people who share a commitment to certain goods. By ethnographically investigating the role that surveillance technologies play in realizing four different types of good—care, health, safety and citizenship—within four different communities—the family, the interest group, the circle of intimates, and the nation—this research explores how surveillance proliferates not as a lever in power relations, but by being harnessed to forms of human welfare.

The gains of this project are substantial. To surveillance studies I import insights from anthropology, offering a comparative and embedded approach that situates surveillance as a social relationship. I also initiate a major conversation about surveillance in anthropology. Finally I develop the concepts of ‘moral’ and ‘immoral’ monitoring, achieving greater public clarity on those forms of surveillance that support collective welfare, and those that threaten to harm it.

Meccanismo di finanziamento

ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Istituzione ospitante

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 1 476 127,50
Indirizzo
STRAND
WC2R 2LS London
Regno Unito

Mostra sulla mappa

Regione
London Inner London — West Westminster
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 1 476 127,50

Beneficiari (1)