When will people resist surveillance: First they need to notice it, then identify the source.
University of Exeter
One of the central challenges to both psychological autonomy and social inclusion are surveillance technologies and the ways in which they are being used to erode individual rights to privacy. As privacy allows people to keep to themselves but also to participate freely in communities without outside interference, then it should be a domain of primary concern to political psychologists. This presentation draws on data including focus groups on privacy and surveillance, and a series of experimental studies that manipulate people’s awareness of being targeted by surveillance, and vary the ostensible bodies doing the surveillance as either an ingroup or outgroup audience. We discuss the findings in terms of how threats to privacy are represented psychologically, when people resist surveillance, and how resistance relates to identity and context. In particular the relationship created between surveillance authority and those under surveillance is discussed, as well as assumptions of surveillance as normal and how these assumptions might be shifted. In order to understand the strategies of resistance being employed by groups and individuals to protect their privacy, findings are related to psychological theory on social identity and intra- and inter-group processes. The implications for this research include civic engagement, contact, and political mobilization and participation.
Funded by EPSRC research grant: Privacy Dynamics: Learning from the Wisdom of Groups. EP/K033522/1, EP/K033425/1, EP/K033433/1.
Paper presented at the 38th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP): the Psychology of Encounter and the Politics of Engagement. 3-6 July 2015, San Diego, USA, Omni Hotel
International Society for Political Psychology, 2015-06-21, 2015-06-26, San Diego, California