The Lives of Others: Surveillance, Discourse, and the Refashioning of Political Belonging in East Central Europe and the U.S.

7.5.2019 14:00
We invite you to attend the lecture of Jonathan Larson (Instructor of Anthropology, Grinnell College, USA) Entitled: The Lives of Others: Surveillance, Discourse, and the Refashioning of Political Belonging in East Central Europe and the U.S.

To be held et the building of social sciences institutes SAS, Klemensova 19, Bratislava. On Tuesday 7th May 2019 at 14.00 
 

A debate has been running for the past decade in a Euro-American public sphere about legitimate uses of surveillance technologies to maintain public security and facilitate consumer product development while respecting concerns over rights to privacy. While much of this surveillance has earned grudging acceptance as inherent to the infrastructure of a modern life, reception of its uses has varied. In this presentation I explore a pattern to how eavesdropping scandals of 2006 to 2014 were received in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland. I argue that general public acceptance in the region of what I call “wild eavesdropping” has some basis in a post-socialist regime of truth that has valued hidden information. I outline some features in an anthropology of eavesdropping, and also explore what this public reception tells us about shifting ideologies of language in East Central Europe, and what these shifts have perhaps forewarned about attitudes toward the behavior of U.S. President Donald Trump