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Gary Marx (Professor Emeritus, MIT)
"A Tack in the Shoe: Neutralizing and Resisting New Forms of Surveillance"

V. Michael Bove, Jr.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003, 4:00 PM EST

Bartos Theatre, MIT Media Lab (E15)

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Professor Marx will discuss eleven behavioral techniques of neutralization intended to subvert the collection of personal information:

    • discovery moves
    • avoidance moves
    • piggy backing moves
    • switching moves
    • distorting moves
    • blocking moves
    • masking moves
    • breaking moves
    • refusal moves
    • cooperative moves
    • counter-surveillance moves
In Western liberal democracies, the advantages of technological and other strategic surveillance developments are often short-lived and contain ironic vulnerabilities. The logistical and economic limits on total monitoring, the interpretive and contextual nature of many human situations, system complexity and interconnectedness, and the vulnerability of those engaged in surveillance to be compromised, provide ample room for resistance. Neutralization is a dynamic adversarial social dance involving strategic moves and counter-moves and should be studied as a conflict interaction process.

Gary T. Marx is a Professor Emeritus from MIT. A prolific author, Marx has received several awards from the American Sociological Association, an award from the American Bar Association, and the Bruce C. Smith Award for research achievement. In 1992 he was the inaugural Stice Memorial Lecturer in residence at the University of Washington and he has been a UC Irvine Chancellor's Distinguished Fellow. He received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.

Marx's work has appeared or been reprinted in over 250 books, monographs, and periodicals and has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Dutch, German, Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Turkish, Portuguese and other languages. His articles have appeared numerous academic journals and popular sources. In addition, Professor Marx has participated in, and helped to develop, a number of radio and television documentaries.

He has been a research associate at the Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies and Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Center and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1970), and he has received grants from the National Institute of Justice, National Science Foundation, the Twentieth Century Fund, the Whiting Foundation, and the German government. He has been a consultant to, or served on panels for, several national commissions, the House Committee on the Judiciary, the House Science Committee, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, the General Accounting Office, the Office of Technology Assessment, the Justice Department, and other federal agencies, state and local governments, the Canadian House of Commons, The National Academy of Sciences, SSRC, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, public interest groups, foundations, and think tanks.

Beyond MIT, Professor Marx has taught at Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Colorado. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of California at San Diego, Santa Barbara and Irvine, Wellesley College, Boston College, Boston University, the Schools of Criminal Justice at SUNY/Albany and Florida State University, Northwestern University, the Universities of Leuven and Louvain-La-Neuve, the Technical University of Vienna, and Nankai University (PRC); and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Arizona State, the University of Washington, the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio and the Max Planck Institute at Frieburg. Marx has served on many councils, committees, and boards, and has been editor, associate editor, or on the editorial board of many prestigious professional journals.

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