In today’s liquid modern world, the paths of daily life are mobile and flexible. Crossing national borders is a commonplace activity and immersion in social media increasingly ubiquitous. Today’s citizens, workers, consumers and travellers are always on the move but often lacking certainty and lasting bonds. But in this world where spaces may not be fixed and time is boundless, our perpetual motion does not go unnoticed. Surveillance spreads in hitherto unimaginable ways, responding to and reproducing the slippery nature of modern life, seeping into areas where it once had only marginal sway.
In this book the surveillance analysis of David Lyon meets the liquid modern world so insightfully dissected by Zygmunt Bauman. Is a dismal future of moment-by-moment monitoring closing in, or are there still spaces of freedom and hope? How do we realize our responsibility for the human beings before us, often lost in discussions of data and categorization? Dealing with questions of power, technology and morality, this book is a brilliant analysis of what it means to be watched – and watching – today.
About the Authors
Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017) was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leeds, UK. His books have become international bestsellers and have been translated into more than 30 languages.
David Lyon is Professor of Sociology at Queen’s University, Canada. His previous publications include Identifying Citizens: ID Cards as Surveillance (2009) and Surveillance Studies: An Overview (2007).
Table of Contents
Preface and acknowledgements vi
1 Drones and social media 18
2 Liquid surveillance as post- panoptic 52
3 Remoteness, distancing and automation 76
4 In/security and surveillance 100
5 Consumerism, new media and social sorting 121
6 Probing surveillance ethically 132
7 Agency and hope 142