Deviance and control in communities with perfect surveillance: the case of second life

Victoria Wang, K. Haines, J. Tucker

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Abstract

Advanced cybercommunities are communities in which perfect surveillance is possible – software tools allow everything to be observed, recorded, archived, pored over at a later date and acted upon. Hence, one expects that these surveillance technologies ought to be heavily used and effective in controlling deviance in these cybercommunities. Drawing on our research in the cybercommunity Second Life, we observe that surveillance technologies are not heavily used to deal with deviance; instead, it is the power of relationships that form the fabric of social control and the regulation of deviance. This discovery questions the effectiveness of technology as a regulator, both in Second Life and in the real world, as well as evidences the importance of social bond as a mediator of deviance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalSurveillance & Society
Volume9
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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