Refractive Surveillance: Monitoring Customer to Manage Workers

Friday, October 13, 2017 at 3:30pm to 4:45pm

Uris Hall, 302
Central Campus

Sociology Colloquium with Karen Levy.

 

Collecting information about one group can facilitate control over an entirely different group—a phenomenon we term “refractive surveillance.” We explore this dynamic in the context of retail stores by investigating how retailers’ collection of data about customers facilitates new forms of managerial control over workers. We identify four mechanisms through which refractive surveillance might occur in retail work, involving dynamic labor scheduling, new forms of evaluation, externalization of worker knowledge, and replacement through customer self-service. Our research suggests that the effects of surveillance cannot be fully understood without considering how populations might be managed on the basis of data collected about others. (joint work with Solon Barocas)

Event Type

Lecture

Departments

Sociology

Tags

cascal, soccal

Speaker

KAREN lEVY

Speaker Affiliation

COLLEGE OF INFORMATION SCIENCE

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