The Civil Society Workshop will meet on Thursday, November 7 at 12:30 pm for a discussion with
PhD Candidate, Sociology, GC CUNY
“Surveillance and Collective Efficacy”
In this paper, I want to explore the effects of internalization of surveillance on the communities’ capacity to act collectively in the interest of a common good. Building on my fieldwork in Moscow, Russia, I will demonstrate how the fears and expectations of surveillance disrupted neighborhood-level attempts to oppose urban renewal plans (“Renovation” of the city’s housing stock announced in 2017). Muscovites, expecting the authoritarian state to infiltrate grassroots activism, had difficulties establishing relations of trust with their neighbors, which affected their ability to orchestrate collective resistance to the project.
The big role of social media in this resistance campaign complicated the effect of the expected surveillance: in the anonymous and atomized city, social media were necessary for neighbors to find one another and coordinate their actions against urban renewal; however, social media proved to be more prone to disruption by the expected (and real) surveillance and infiltration.
Room: Political Science Thesis Room, room 5200.07