Overseers of the Poor: Surveillance, Resistance, and the

Overseers of the Poor: Surveillance, Resistance, and the In Overseers of the Poor, John Gilliom confronts the everyday politics of surveillance by exploring the worlds and words of those who know it best the watched Arguing that the current public conversation about surveillance and privacy rights is rife with political and conceptual failings, Gilliom goes beyond the critics and analysts to add fresh voices, insights, and perspectives This powerful book lets us in on the conversations of low income mothers from Appalachian Ohio as they talk about the welfare bureaucracy and its remarkably advanced surveillance system In their struggle to care for their families, these women are monitored and assessed through a vast network of supercomputers, caseworkers, fraud control agents, and even grocers and neighbors In depth interviews show that these women focus less on the right to privacy than on a critique of surveillance that lays bare the personal and political conflicts with which they live And, while they have little interest in conventional forms of politics, we see widespread patterns of everyday resistance as they subvert the surveillance regime when they feel it prevents them from being good parents Ultimately, Overseers of the Poor demonstrates the need to reconceive not just our understanding of the surveillance privacy debate but also the broader realms of language, participation, and the politics of rightsWe all know that our lives are being watched than ever before As we struggle to understand and confront this new order, Gilliom argues, we need to spend less time talking about privacy rights, legislatures, and courts of law and time talking about power, domination, and the ongoing struggles of everyday people


10 thoughts on “Overseers of the Poor: Surveillance, Resistance, and the Limits of Privacy

  1. Jacqueline Jacqueline says:

    Great in depth work about poverty, power, the state, and surveillance This book is perhaps unique in that Gilliom privileges the perspectives and experiences of the surveilled in this case, welfare mothers One of the most surprising things about the ongoing coverage of surveillance in the popular media is that in the media s rush to quote a privacy advocate o


  2. Carolin Carolin says:

    a central thought in a lot of today s data protection and privacy discussion is that privacy should not become a right of the rich ive read this work with a lot of interest for my phd thesis we will see if i will work it into chapter four or five.


  3. Pete Pete says:

    Strong book showing a bit of Appallachia I would have liked a little bitfrom the welfare clients.


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