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Windows Into the SoulSurveillance and Society in an Age of High Technology$
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Gary T. Marx

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226285887

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226286075.001.0001

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A Mood Apart: What’s Wrong with Tom?

A Mood Apart: What’s Wrong with Tom?

Chapter:
(p.230) 10 A Mood Apart: What’s Wrong with Tom?
Source:
Windows Into the Soul
Author(s):

Gary T. Marx

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226286075.003.0011

Tom Voire’s behavior nestles within the separate context of open field surveillance–meaning surveillance that occurs beyond that appropriately associated with a role, an organization, or group. It introduces fascinating unsettled questions regarding what should be private even in “public” (whether defined as place or easy availability of information). By indirection, it also encourages thought on what should be public (or at least revealed to appropriate others such as employers, merchants, government officials, parents and friends) within the private zone of the individual. Tom’s case shows how easy it is to rationalize highly questionable behavior and how muddled expectations regarding all of this can be. Decent behavior must flow primarily from custom and manners rather than from the threat of coercion or the agreement of contracts so central to the other narratives in this unit. While it may appear that there is little harm done from secret surveillance that breaks no laws, at least four kinds of harm beyond the possibility of strategic disadvantage can be noted --are feelings of betrayal, paranoia, embarrassment and shame.

Keywords:   open field surveillance, betrayal, paranoia, embarrassment, shame, manners, public within the private, private within the public

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