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IAS Lecture: Surveillance Capitalism and Surveillance Culture

  • 22 November 2017
  • 4pm-5pm
  • CC.0.21 James France Building

About this event

Everyday life in the twenty-first century is unavoidably surveillant, especially in the increasingly data-dependent global north. Surveillance is an inescapable aspect of interactions with governments, corporations, and indeed any and all organisations. It is part of everyday experience, interaction, involvement, and initiative, not least through internet and social media use.

Surveillance is rapidly becoming part of a whole way of life, seen in mundane imaginaries and practices such as complacent data donation or social ranking. But these are not innocent cultural developments; they echo and embody an emerging stage of political-economic development, ‘surveillance capitalism.’ 

Led by giant internet corporations such as Google, this phenomenon promotes data capture and analysis as the new fuel for prosperity and progress. If this conjunction is correctly stated, it raises profound questions of social relationships, for ethics, politics and everyday life.

Professor David Lyon (Queens University, Canada) is a world-leading expert in surveillance studies. He brings a sociological perspective to the issues raised by personal data processing in a database-dependent world. His surveillance interests include border and airport controls, social media, organizational routines, video camera surveillance, citizen registration and identification systems and social media. His concerns include the social sorting capacities of contemporary surveillance, along with an exploration of their ethics and politics.

Contact and booking details

Helen Tighe
Telephone number
01509 222452
Email address
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