BCCN Online Lecture Series #6: Living with Digital Surveillance in China: Citizens’ Narratives on Technology, Privacy, and Governance
Ariane Ollier-Malaterre (Université du Québec à Montréal)
This lecture series is hosted by the Berlin Contemporary China Network (BCCN), an initiative by researchers at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, and Technische Universität Berlin. It is organized by Freie Universität Berlin. Here you can find an overview of the lecture series.
Digital surveillance is a daily and all-encompassing reality of life in China. This book explores how Chinese citizens make sense of digital surveillance and live with it. It investigates their imaginaries about surveillance and privacy from within the Chinese socio-political system.
Based on in-depth qualitative research interviews, detailed diary notes, and extensive documentation, Ariane Ollier-Malaterre attempts to ‘de-Westernise’ the internet and surveillance literature. She shows how the research participants weave a cohesive system of anguishing narratives on China’s moral shortcomings and redeeming narratives on the government and technology as civilising forces. Although many participants cast digital surveillance as indispensable in China, their misgivings, objections, and the mental tactics they employ to dissociate themselves from surveillance convey the mental and emotional weight associated with such surveillance exposure.
The book is intended for academics and students in internet, surveillance, and Chinese studies, and those working on China in disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, social psychology, psychology, communication, computer sciences, contemporary history, and political sciences. The lay public interested in the implications of technology in daily life or in contemporary China will find it accessible as it synthesises the work of sinologists and offers many interview excerpts.
Ariane Ollier-Malaterre, Ph.D., is a Management Professor and the Director of the International Network on Technology, Work and Family at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-UQAM), Canada. She chairs the Technology, Work and Family research community of the Work and Family Researchers Network. Her research examines digital technologies and the boundaries between work and life across different national contexts. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in top-tier management, sociology, and information systems outlets (e.g., Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, Human Relations, Annual Review of Sociology, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Computers in Human Behavior).