The project (officially entitled Living within, navigating and appropriating everyday surveillance: Case studies on subjective experiences of surveillance and privacy) examines subjective experiences of surveillance, with a special focus on young people modifying their behavior as a consequence of constant exposure to surveillance online. Our objective is to recognize common and specific traits in subjective experiences of surveillance. This knowledge is then utilized in formulating and guiding future research and developing theoretical understanding. The results are also communicated to the public in the aim that people would be better informed on surveillance around them and would be able to make more informed decisions regarding it. Research questions of the project are:

  1. What kind of experiences of and reactions to living within, navigating and appropriating everyday surveillance can be identified within the following three contexts: (a) previous research on subjective surveillance experiences, (b) surveillance-critical art works, and (c) young peoples’ experiences of mundane surveillance situations?
  2. How various notions of privacy and subjective surveillance experiences are tangled together? How privacy is perceived and experienced in mundane surveillance practices? How could subjective surveillance experiences be analyzed beyond the concept of privacy?
  3. What kind of social identities and subjectivities are being formed through constant exposure to surveillance?

The research questions are approached through three case studies, which include (1) a systematic review on previous research on subjective surveillance experiences in various fields, (2) examination of presentations of surveillance and privacy in a compilation of surveillance critical art works, and (3) an empirically based analysis on young peoples’ experiences of everyday surveillance and privacy with an internationally comparable data. This project applies a mixed-method approach with different methodologies to create and analyze data: interviews, focus groups, document analyses, content analyses, concept mapping and Q-sorting.

Our aim is to extend the dissemination and critical discussion to an international level; we work in close co-operation with Canadian eQuality-project. Our co-operation includes sharing data gathered with the same method in several countries.

As its outcome, this project will produce scientific articles and a book manuscript. Furthermore, we plan to organize an international surveillance studies conference in the University of Turku.