Voyeur Nation: Media, Privacy, and Peering in Modern Culture / Edition 1

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Overview

From 24-hour-a-day "girl cam" sites on the World Wide Web to trash-talk television shows like "Jerry Springer" and reality television programs like "Cops," we've become a world of voyeurs. We like to watch others as their intimate moments, private facts, secrets, and dirty laundry are revealed. Voyeur Nation traces the evolution and forces driving what the author calls the 'voyeurism value.' Calvert argues that although spectatorship and sensationalism are far from new phenomena, today a confluence of factors-legal, social, political, and technological-pushes voyeurism to the forefront of our image-based world.The First Amendment increasingly is called on to safeguard our right, via new technologies and recording devices, to peer into the innermost details of others' lives without fear of legal repercussion. But Calvert argues that the voyeurism value contradicts the value of discourse in democracy and First Amendment theory, since voyeurism by its very nature involves merely watching without interacting or participating. It privileges watching and viewing media images over participating and interacting in democracy.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Think your bathroom is bugged? Maybe your telephone is tapped? They could very well be--and legally, according to Calvert (communications, Pennsylvania State Univ.), an expert in media law, privacy, and their interrelation. The author discusses how advances in surveillance and monitoring technology have combined with a Big Brother mentality increasingly prevalent in government and business to create an atmosphere ripe for voyeurism. Workplace activities are now part of the corporate record, and the author shows how applicable state and federal laws are not adequate in preventing the boss from recording unguarded scenes and conversations. Adding to this saucy mix are the broadcast networks and cable channels that cultivate the public demand for mediated voyeurism. The author concludes that legal accountability alone will be insufficient to check mediated voyeurism or force it off the air. The courts are usually very focused on privacy rulings, which means that shows like Jerry Springer will continue until the public accepts a new model of media accountability. Recommended for public, academic, and legal collections.--Philip Y. Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Law Lib., First Judicial District, New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Calvert (communications and law, Pennsylvania State University) traces the evolution and forces driving cultural voyeurism. He argues that although spectatorship and sensationalism are not new, today a combination of factors<-->legal, social, political, and technological<-->are pushing mediated voyeurism to the forefront of our culture. Calvert warns that voyeuristic culture sacrifices privacy and contradicts the value of discourse in democracy and First Amendment theory. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813342368
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 4/14/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Clay Calvert is an assistant professor of communications and law and co-director of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment at Pennsylvania State University. He has published over twenty law journal articles in the past four years on First Amendment issues affecting the media, journalism, and advertising. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific and a Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Peeping Tom Meets Jennifer Ringley 19
2 The Social Forces Driving Mediated Voyeurism 55
3 Priming the Economic and Political Pumps of Mediated Voyeurism 91
4 Don't Look Now, but Somebody's Watching You 121
5 Free Press, Free Voyeurs? 133
6 Check Your Camera at the Castle Door 173
7 Seeing Voyeurs in First Amendment Theory 207
Conclusion 239
Notes 245
Index 266
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