Surveillance and Cultures

In part three of Privacy Matters, Beck and Hutchinson Campos organize discussion on “Surveillance and Cultures” around research that “respond[s] to a need for action globally on matters affecting communities and large segments of populations” (p. 11). This section highlights a grave importance toward our understanding of surveillance as it shows the…    

cultural need for identification and public resistance against the ways mass surveillance persecutes minoritized communities through long established social hierarchies of power, and governmental organizations use rhetoric to legally criminalize entire cultures of individuals and reinforce such hierarchies.

The chapters in this section take a macro look at the surveillance of entire cultures and communities through the rhetoric deployed upon them in various forms of large media. Chapter seven specifically looks at variable twitter cases in which surveillance played a key part in the digital harassment of three persons through language based in ethnicism, racism, sexism, and homophobia which aimed to enforce the preservation of problematic social hierarchies. A common thread stuck out through the study of each case in the concept that “surveillance can enable the online persecution of people speaking out against social inequalities that directly affect them” (Cedillo, p. 144). By this, Privacy Matters showcases a critical issue in the combating of supremacist mindsets; one where advocates for social progress face heightened pushback against progressive ideas through the anonymity and ease of harassment presented by social networks.

Such persecuting rhetoric seen on mass in social media is similarly discussed in chapter eight which highlights how American government organizations can aim to restrict and control entire communities of population on a nationwide level. The main instance of mass government engrained harassment discussed is seen within the “rhetoric deployed by ICE … [which] shows it’s great reliance on the concept of criminality in order to justify the existence and expansion of this profitable surveillance industry” (Ramos, p. 156). The main target of negative ICE rhetoric, the Latinx community, faces both legal and social discrimination which actively harms Latinx peoples nationwide, yet persists in the name of American government profit. Through this, Privacy Matters shows readers an incredibly present need for…  

collective resistance against American government mass surveillance that enforces problematic hierarchies of power and generates acts of hate against minoritized communities on a daily basis.

Section Includes Chapters:

“The Perils of the Public Professoriate: On Surveillance, Social Media, and Identity-Avoidant Frameworks” by Christina V. Cedillo

“Cultural Political Organizing: Rewriting the Latinx “Criminal/Immigrant” Narrative of Surveillance” by Santos F. Ramos