Thanks so much for a wonderful semester! I hope you have a summer filled with (thinking about) deviance! We’ll be back online in Spring 2013!
Here is an example of facebook misuse that I found… Quite disturbing; A unique case in which a teenage boy created child porn using images found on a girls facebook page, then reposted the images to her page.
As I mentioned in class, I had watched this news coverage on tv over winter break about a family from California who disappeared in 2009. Here is the website detailing the information that they know. They think that the family crossed the Mexican border and went somewhere into South America, but they have no real evidence as to where they are.
This isn’t really relevant to what we have been discussing recently, but it’s been in the news quite a bit (especially in the aftermath of the controversy around the new HBO show “Girls”) and also pertains to many discussions we have had about Oxy’s treatment of issues surrounding race. It’s just something to be cautious of/think about, I am sure many of us are guilty of the things listed in the article. Here is the link:
According to Miller, surveillance is “an ordinary part of daily life”. He mentions Foucault’s example of an 18th century French town, in its need to expand beyond the border of its walls, it needs more means to keep track of the movements of the people within it. With increased freedom in the modern world, there comes a need to monitor the population to make it secure and productive. The US’s increased investment in corporate safety has led to both government and corporate obsession with the gathering and protection of information. As Miller states, “on the internet, customer feedback isn’t requested so much as it’s collected”.
Browne discusses the Slave Pass, the Rogues Gallery, the Census, and biometrics and their applications toward race in the context of surveillance in America. The Slave Pass is the idea that in order for a slave to have any sort of movement, they needed to either have a written pass from their owner or be able to forge one. This means of surveillance values “whiteness” as something necessary for mobility. In this context, “whiteness” being an education and having the ability to read and write. The Rogues Gallery is a means to otherize criminals by creating an image that is identified with being a criminal. The Census is the means by which the government can categorize its inhabitants in racializing, gendering, and spacial ways. Biometrics have the possibility of being used in the same way measurements were used in phrenology.
As a contest for Wired Magazine, Evan Ratliffe attempts to disappear while being hunted by average citizens. Getting off the grid required months of planning and taking extreme measures such as changing his name, appearance, detaching from most technology, and staying mobile. This decision put him into a deviant role despite his previously normal identity. He exhibits the classic fugitive mentality, where he initially finds it exciting and enjoys the thrill, but eventually starts realizing the risks and becomes stressed.
From our “Everyday Surveillance” Activity with the help of Scattergories’ model, here are they many, many ways our lives are surveilled and control every day.
- The United States’ Postal Service’s address tracking.
- Netflix suggestions
- Amazon “others who looked at this bought”…
- Time keeping – having to be on time, time cards…
- FourSquare apps where you volunteer information about your location (Facebook check-in, Find My Friends…)
- Background checks for employment, education…
- License plate, vehicle registration…
- Red light cameras
- Baptisms – you need to have your parents’ IDs forms
- Public library records – logging into computers there too!
- Drug tests for employment, social services…
- Goodyear Blimps’ live recording / satellite recording
- Religion – social control via internalization of norms/God’s gaze
- Pet adoption – they request ALL information to get a pet!
- Pet microchipping!
- Nanny cams (those damn cuddly teddy bears)
- Waste management / being able to search trash!
- School’s new printing system!
- Subscriptions to magazines
- Facial recognition systems
- Common app – school application systems!
- Parents’ social control of your activities
- Selective service draft card
- Biometric ID chip
- RFID chips
- Stickers for tolls – FastTrac
- Police helicopters
- ANY LAW EVER
- Public warning systems – Oxy alert systems
- Hertz Never Lost GPS system
- Athletic scoring – record keeping
- Reward systems – grocery cards
- Parole officer! Probation officer!
- Software registration – anti-piracy!
- Checking luggage / searching through your belongings!
- Public park rules – not so public!
- Drug sniffing dogs!
- Barracudas – Pineapple Express
- Checkpoint / Customs
- Water / Utlities / Gas Bills
- No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service
- Neighborhood watch
- Plane travel
- Photo developing
- Texting / Voicemail records
- Public data aggregators such as Intelius, Spokeo
I chose to pick the strangest array of clothing i could possibly scrounge together from any of my housemates, which amounted to a neon green jacket with matching pants that one of my housemates had purchased in Boulder specifically for music festivals, and a rainbow colored troll wig, about one foot in length. I topped it off with wearing dark 80′s ski glasses, partially because i didn’t want to have to deal with looking at anybody, and partially because they’re really awesome. Since I live off campus my time at Oxy is relatively limited these days so i tried to maximize my expose on campus by spending my time in the most public of places.
I got to school a half hour before my 1:30 class dressed up in my dashing outfit and immediately went to the library to print some things out. The first thing I overheard people saying about me was that i clearly must have lost some sort of bet, or that I didnt want to wait to put on my Coachella clothes…both plausibly situations. After printing out what i needed for class i went downstairs to the former ITS floor to where my friends usually are seated. they immediately erupted with laughter and I had a fun time describing what the assignment was and posed for a few pictures around the library. at about 1:20 I went out into the quad with a friend our two and took some laps through the most public sections of the quad. i knew this was to be one of my last times in public on campus that day, so i had to make it count. As no one else in the class was dressed up that day i REALLY stood out. People stared and laughed, but i was dressed so absurdly that no one really stigmatized me because they knew their had to be some reason for why i was dressed so strangely. – My friend took a really great picture of me strolling through the quad…ill upload it if i ever figure out how to.
After roaming around in public soaking in all of the stares and looks of admiration towards my fantastic outfit, i made my way into Johnson. This was perhaps the weirdest part of my day because sometimes i would be one on one with a stranger in a hallway so i could really pick up on how they were looking at me, and people didnt hold back and being obvious about staring our laughing out load, but hey i was clearly asking for it. I got to my class and explained to everyone why i was dressed as I was which lifted the spirits of tiered classroom…so your welcome.
After class I made my way up to Deviance and the rest you all know…sorry this is really late!
Our discussions about social control and subtle surveillance reminded me of an MIT online test called “Personas” that searches your first and last name in the vast online network and gives you the profile of your online identity: http://personas.media.mit.edu/personasWeb
With your Facebook information and other info from many other sites you may visit, from searches you’ve conducted and from information about yourself that you never approved but is still up on the Internet, your online persona takes shape.