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Overseers of the Poor: Surveillance, Resistance, and the Limits of Privacy

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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

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-depth interviews reveal that these women focus less on the right to privacy than on a critique of the pervasive 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 rights.

Synopsis:

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-depth interviews reveal that these women focus less on the right to privacy than on a critique of the pervasive 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 rights.

About the Author

John Gilliom is an associate professor of political science at Ohio University. He is the author of Surveillance, Privacy, and the Law: Employee Drug Testing and the Politics of Social Control.

Table of Contents

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

ONE : Welfare Surveillance

TWO : Stories of Struggle

THREE : Rights Talk and Rights Reticence

FOUR : The Need to Resist

FIVE : Privacy and the Powers of Surveillance

EPILOGUE

APPENDIX

NOTES

REFERENCES

INDEX

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226293615
Author:
Gilliom, John
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Location:
Chicago
Subject:
Social Services & Welfare
Subject:
Public welfare
Subject:
Civil Rights
Subject:
Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice
Subject:
Constitutional
Subject:
Contracts
Subject:
Privacy, right of
Subject:
Welfare recipients
Subject:
Electronic surveillance
Subject:
Government information
Subject:
Services & Welfare
Subject:
Public Policy - Social Services & Welfare
Subject:
Privacy, Right of -- United States.
Subject:
Electronic surveillance -- United States.
Subject:
Sociology-Children and Family
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Chicago Series in Law and Society
Series Volume:
3
Publication Date:
20011231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
277
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » General
History and Social Science » American Studies » Poverty
History and Social Science » Law » Constitutional Law
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family
History and Social Science » Sociology » Poverty

Overseers of the Poor: Surveillance, Resistance, and the Limits of Privacy Used Trade Paper
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Product details 277 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226293615 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
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-depth interviews reveal that these women focus less on the right to privacy than on a critique of the pervasive 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 rights.

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