Week 8 – Surveillance, Dataveillance and Consumer Discipline

This weeks seminar and lecture is about surveillance, dataveillance and consumer discipline; this means that “watching and recording others activities as a means of monitoring and supervision”Lyon, 2002.

Therefore a focus on systematic attention to personal detail for the purpose of influence / management / care / control / regulation. This works through: recording information –> classify the recorded information –> the information will be ordered based on predetermined categories –> the decisions will be made based on the opportunities and risks about each subject.

When  you enter a space, physical or virtual, or exchange information with another  human being or with a terminal, as a customer, a student, a commuter,  citizen, patient etc.  this information that you have shared is online forever and can be given to any database.

Surveillance through monitoring, recording, categorising and classifying the behaviour of subject populations has been an essential means of social ordering, manipulation of desire and population management. As our use of digital, networked media increases personal data, viewing preferences and consumption habits, are facilitating an unprecedented capacity for exploitation, (realising commodity value), appropriation and control over the individuals. We are more or less familiar with ideas of the ‘big brother society’ and the state surveillance but tend to be less aware and less critical of commercial surveillance and the disciplining of consumers. After introducing the concept of surveillance and its role in social sorting and controlling populations.

Surveillance through seduction means that unsuspected consumers are used as data subjects subjects, using whatever websites they go on and give away personal information in exchange for ‘special offers’. Through this I have learnt that people are unaware of the dangers they could be putting them into as they’d rather gain the ‘special offers’, student records, medical records, criminal records and credit records.

  • “The rise of the Information Society itself … has exposed the centrality of information processing, communication and control on all aspects of human society and social behaviour” (Beninger, 1986:436)

Week 7 – Privacy and the Digital Human

This weeks lecture and seminar is based on how privacy has been considered a universal value: a fundamental value of free society and something everyone is entitled to. We went over how the aspects of private and public life can become blurred easily through the constant use of networked media, “our data, and with it, our privacy, is increasingly networked.” (Boyd, 2012 p. 348).

Online technologies have changed privacy settings, I learnt that the biggest threats to society are:

  • commercial exploitation
  • child abuse
  • sexting / nudes

Some people would see privacy as hiding aspects of themselves / withholding information from others as hiding can lead onto people becoming defensive about their personal lives if that is what’s being privatised; however this is due to whatever audience the subject material is.

The first court definition of privacy is stated as being “right to be let alone” – Warren and Brandeis, Harvard Law Review, USA, 1890.

Throughout the seminar, I had to present the theme of privacy on the internet, this was entitled ‘PRIVACY WITHIN A NETWORKED SOCIETY’  we asked the seminar group what does privacy mean to them, allowing them to have three different coloured  cards (green / orange / red) this helped us decide to which degree to the question that they agreed with. Along with this question as it collided with the lecture, the idea that private and public lives have the ability to be blurred, we asked if anyone in the seminar group have people blocked on any of their social media accounts as we believed that if you’re posting content that they’re perhaps not allowing family members for example to see their true selves.

This seminar presentation has helped me learn that privacy is very important to everyday life, even though it can suggest that as technology is developing it is becoming increasingly harder to keep things private as sometimes once they’re online, they’re online for good.

Week 6 – Community, Identity and Belonging Online

From today’s lecture and seminar I learnt about online communities and how they’re able to influence an individuals sense of self and their overall identity that can be formed through the community they’ve placed themselves into.

Community is defined as “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.”, whereas, A virtual community is “a social network of individuals who interact through specific social media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals.” Virtual community is done through having technologies, members, and social interaction.

Place, identity, and community can be done through either, territorially bound or virtual. Territorially bound can be defined by physical location, therefore it is through an individual’s geography and social relations. Whereas, virtual means that they’re not tied directly to physical reality (Van Dijk, 1999:250). Virtual is all about how the information can be transported through the internet, this is called the space of flows (Castells’ Network Society Analysis)

I also discovered that, the characteristics of a digital networked media is justified through interactions where individuals are able to share and exchange their network information simultaneously.

Online communities enable individuals to to express themselves more than they normally would be able to as they’re free to be themselves as websites such MySpace, Facebook and Bebo help people gain relationships and friends as they’re sharing common interests with each other.


Week 5 – Technological Determinism and Social Shaping

Within this week’s lecture and seminar we learnt that online connectivity in the 21st century allows individuals to understand new concepts through information capital.

I also learnt that





– ——– — — —-

Networked society

— — —— — —- –

However, this equation doesn’t explain what happens when a section of this equation breaks down, therefore leaving it unsolvable to ultimately make a networked society.

The information age was able to form a new society through technology determined individuals by networked connectivity; this is happening all over the globe as the term globe spanning is used in this context, digital media networks link up entire human activity across planet.

In the lecture I learnt that networked societies are structured by the communication networks, this is done from digital online media technologies as they have many pervasive effects, which affect all social activity; such as production, consumption, knowledge which are an exchange organised as networked activity.

Throughout the seminar, we discussed the topics of The cultures of the internet: play.

The cultures of the internet, we discussed the idea that the Korean online video game tournament is considered a much greater deal than in England, the competitors were compared to boy band members as girls screaming for these boys even travelling hours for a ten  minute tournament. In England this is seen as being irrelevant and not considered a sport; the contrast of the two cultures is vastly different, but with the internet the two netwetworks can be joined together.

Week 4 – Information Society Theories

In this weeks lecture and seminar, the question asked was based around what is what is information, our seminar group decided that it can be split into three categories; knowledge, details and facts.

“IS theories designate a particular vision of developments arising from the growing use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the acquisition, storage and processing of information” (Mansell, 2008:2)

This allowed me to understand that the amount of innovations within communication and information technologies can help provide many digitalised models with the tools needed to create new developments. I then knew that, as the time went on and the newer versions of technology would then suggest that it is more reliable and faster to increase the carriage capacity.

We then found out that the increasing volume of information being exchanged would make it cheaper to transport the information through the many technologies available, this is the most common use of information society theories, I knew this from the ICT developments. I found that over 4.1 billion people (54.4% of the world’s population) is now (2018) connected to the internet. This can suggest that, information advancements has been an unpredictable increase over the past few years.

Hence, this then allowed me to understand how the importance of information technologies has helped society progress over the previous years.

Week 3 – Media Technologies and Society

Core reading this week:

  • Curran, J and Seaton, J (2010) Power without responsibility. Press, broadcasting and the Internet in Britain 7th edition. Routledge. Read Ch. 17 (especially 257-274)
  • Lister, M, Dovey, J, Giddings, S, Grant, I and Kelly, K (2009) New Media. A critical introduction. Second Edition Routledge (pp. 44-52; 78-79).
  • Miller (2011) Understanding Digital Culture. Sage: Chapter 1: Key elements of Digital Media. Read: Introduction

Media technologies and society is broken into a three layer model –>

  • Object / tools (laptop / phone / tablet)
  • Content / services (record / copy / transport text) {what can be done using these tools}
  • Practices of use / social meanings. (share / consume / exchange communication) {how we use these tools}

“Any attempt to understand new media requires a historical perspective” (Lister et al, 2003 : 38)

– Are binary approaches (good versus bad) useful in the understanding of new media? 

This question links into today’s lecture and seminar as we discussed the ideas of how new media technologies have affected users and how society is being run in the 21st century as the statement “new media is frequently contrasted (usually favourably) with old media … it’s as if there  is an implied critique on old media on new media” this can suggest that old media is suddenly thrown into a bad light.

Social media can affect the lives of users through the many apps and ways to get interconnected with individuals all across the world, this idea is seen as being both positive and negative as there are increasingly  longer lists of software to be stored in devices to help connect international relations. This makes new media more digitalised than in the past twenty years.

Some positive effects of social media is that through such platforms like Twitter, numerous people are able to get involved and get a hashtag trending, an example of this would be the #MeToo as survivors of sexual assault and abuse speak out about their situation, this concept lead onto a movement entitled #TimeIsUp where at the Golden Globes celebrities spoke out for this cause and therefore as multiple people saw this award show this allowed others to feel comfortable to speak out their own personal experiences. However; a negative side towards social media can be the detrimental effect that it can have on individuals, such as the catfish illusion of the internet, the toxic personalities as users want people to view their online profile as being the best side of them, this creates the brain to be trained to believe this idea that what they’re viewing online is reality, hence creating false expectations for users.

Week 2 – Reflection.

Monday 12th February 2018,

From today’s lecture and seminar; along with the readings

Looking at the difference in being able to define each sector of a networked society which included, digital, integrated and interactive.

Understanding that social media is able to teach us more able our friends and family than they might, and the move people share online this would make them more divided in society, but it can be argued that privacy doesn’t exist anymore.

The first core reading was based around the idea that social transformation is able to promote the concept of knowledge societies rather than global knowledge societies. Whereas the second reading helped me know that the different kind of convergence would eventually merge into one supermedium.

This idea lead onto that daily activity can translate into digitaal date this will reinforce the concept that privacy will stop existing soon due to the fact that everyone online will be able to know what is happening in your life. I now know that even  though this can suggest negative impacts for multiple people, it can also there will be new roles for audiences to engage in different forms of social media interactions. Hence I believe that it could always be argued that there are numerous sources that of social media that could affect someone’s life either that be because of positive or negative, the idea of a digital detox could in fact help people understand themselves better due to not constantly being after likes and comments on social media to know that they’re being validated. –> “‘While technology shapes the future, it is people who shape technology,
and decide to what uses it can and should be put.” – Kofi Annan, United
Nations Secretary-General

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