Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation
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Surveillance reflects the world that births it. Although surveillance was central to modern societies from the start, today's surveillance is different. It's post-panoptic, shaping itself to the mobile, flexible paths of daily life where crossing national borders and immersion in social media are commonplace. Not only tourists travel. We also move jobs, change relationships or alter our opinions in very fluid ways as well as making virtual voyages and fluid friendships courtesy of the internet. Ambivalence and uncertainty are accentuated. But our perpetual motion does not go unnoticed. As never before the details of daily life are meticulously tracked and we even participate in the tracking. And the surveilled often cheerfully cooperate with the surveillors. In a liquid world spaces aren't fixed and time isn't bound but surveillance never stops, uncannily, tirelessly. Yet the apparent lightness of the liquid modern world belies the ways that social life is still channeled in specific ways; digital sluices and culverts still sort the social streams, steering life chances and choices.In this book the surveillance analysis of David Lyon meets Zygmunt Bauman's "liquid modernity" in mutually stimulating and fruitful ways. Is a dismal future of moment-by-moment monitoring closing in, or are there still spaces of freedom and hope? Does liquidity sound the knell for critique or is there an ethic pointing to possible alternatives?
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