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The meaning of private in an age of surveillance


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Bostock, WW 2021 , 'The meaning of private in an age of surveillance' , World Journal of Social Science, vol. 8, no. 1 , pp. 67-74 , doi: 10.5430/wjss.v8n1p67.

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The private has great significance for the individual as it is where identity is stored. However, the private comes at acost, particularly in a time of mass surveillance, which is heightened by the present Coronavirus pandemic, and isbecoming more and more rare as individuals seek security. At the collective level, whole societies are movingtowards privatisation, as the private gives relief from increased surveillance by media, governments and informedindividuals and organisations, thus allowing more operational flexibility. Private and public are significant as polarends of a spectrum in which individuals and collectivities must position themselves on a wide range of issues whilemaintaining identity. As shown in the case of airport privatisation, the determining process has been influenced bycultural factors such as a desire to avoid surveillance and scrutiny, sociological factors such as contagion, andpolitical factors such as convergence. In all areas of human activity, a rebalancing between private and public may benecessary, and a transdisciplinary approach would be appropriate.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Bostock, WW
Keywords: private, public, identity, surveillance, contagion, convergence, pandemic
Journal or Publication Title: World Journal of Social Science
Publisher: Sciedu Press
ISSN: 2329-9347
DOI / ID Number: 10.5430/wjss.v8n1p67
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2021 The Author This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attributionlicense (

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