IMPORTANT: Print Books Distribution Announcement
as of March 1st 2017, responsibility for print distribution for the Americas, Australasia, China, Taiwan, and Japan will be taken over by the Academic Services Division of the Ingram Content Group, Inc.
Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

View Table of Contents

Get Email Updates

Peripheral Vision

Politics, Technology, and Surveillance

Catarina Frois

176 pages, 8 illus. & tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-023-8 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (October 2013)

eISBN 978-1-78238-024-5 eBook


Hb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors

This is a valuable contribution to the field of surveillance studies, in that it broadens the perspective of many aspects of research on surveillance through political anthropology; and it adds a considerable perspective to anthropology itself, as it concentrates on surveillance as a phenomenon of anthropological research, proving it to be an important aspect of societies today, or even seen in a wider context, of societies in general.”  ·  Nils Zurawski, Hamburg University

The author is not doing the usual technocentric study, but a sociopolitical, anthropological analysis with a critical theoretical and empirical approach, seriously considering the prolonged authoritarian surveillance past and its legacy, as well as the socioeconomic backwardness of this Southern European country.”  ·  Minas Samatas, University of Crete

In Portugal between 2005 and 2010, “modernization through technology” was the major political motto used to develop and improve the country’s peripheral and backward condition. This study reflects on one of the resulting, specific aspects of this trend—the implementation of public video surveillance. The in-depth ethnography provides evidence of how the political construction of security and surveillance as a strategic program actually conceals intricate institutional relationships between political decision-makers and common citizens. Essentially, the detailed account of the major actors, as well as their roles and motivations, serves to explain phenomena such as the confusion between objective data and subjective perceptions or the lack of communication between parties, which as this study argues, underlies the idiosyncrasies and fragilities of Portugal’s still relatively young democratic system.

Catarina Frois is Invited Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Lisbon University Institute and Senior Researcher at the Centre for Research in Anthropology, Portugal. Her publications include The Anonymous Society: Identity, Transformation and Anonymity in 12-Step Associations (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009) and Vigilância e Poder (Mundos Sociais, 2011).

Series: Volume 22, EASA Series
Subject: General Anthropology
Area: Southern Europe

LC: HV7936.T4F76 2013

BL: YC.2014.a.1411

BISAC: SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural; POL000000 POLITICAL SCIENCE/General; SOC000000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/General

BIC: JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography; JPV Political control & freedoms




Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Acknowledgments

Introduction: Politics, technology and surveillance

  • Peripheral Vision
  • ‘Surveillance studies’
  • Anthropology, politics and policies
  • Notes on methodology and ethics

Chapter 1. From dictatorship to democracy

  • Backwardness as a syndrome
  • Political modernization: Salazar’s Estado Novo and the carnation revolution
  • The country’s modernization: entry into the EEC and structural reforms
  • Fighting backwardness through technology: the Socrates Era

Chapter 2. Eye in the sky

  • The eye behind the eye
  • Video surveillance in Portugal: Law No. 1/2005
  • The National Video Surveillance Program
  • Video surveillance in the zona da Ribeira do Porto
  • Video surveillance in Baixa Pombalina
  • The protection of thousands
  • First evaluation of CCTV in public areas

Chapter 3. Policy-making: successes, failures, contradictions

  • Data Protection Authority
  • Police force
  • Political forces and party strategies
  • 'Forgotten’ diagnosis

Chapter 4. Public Matters, Private Issues

  • Public and private: a matter of opinion
  • Video surveillance: security and its nuances
  • Privacy: a right for everyone?

Chapter 5. The Quest for Security

  • Barometers of (In)security
  • Where danger comes from
  • Fear, politics, economy

Conclusion: Modernization and Backwardness

References

Back to Top