The SSRC is an independent, international, nonprofit organization. It fosters innovative research, nurtures new generations of social scientists, deepens how inquiry is practiced within and across disciplines, and mobilizes necessary knowledge on important public issues.
“The powerful have long agreed: Poor and working people must be watched.
With the proliferation of digital monitoring and algorithmic management of gig economy and blue collar workers, it might seem like the expansion of workplace surveillance is a new trend. In reality, it is a centuries-old phenomenon that has shaped core aspects of modern privacy debates. From English Poor Laws, to the monitoring of 19th century coal miners and 20th century farmworker advocates, to contemporary efforts to track workers in the digital economy, this conference will follow the surveillance of poor and working people and those who advocate for them.
How has the myth of the untrustworthy pauper or worker transformed over time? What role has race and ethnicity played in justifying surveillance? Has this surveillance proven effective or not? How has technology normalized and propogated this surveillance? Finally, how are local communities, advocates, and artists responding to these challenges?
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