Photo-sharing as Participatory Surveillance

Clare Victoria Southerton, Maja Sonne Damkjaer, Anders Albrechtslund

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter systematically analyses emerging practices of sorting, sharing and storing photos in everyday family life. The purpose is to investigate why digital technologies are used and how they potentially reconfigure relations between parents and children. Our study draws on empirical data from in-depth interviews with 17 Danish families during six months in 2017 and focuses on the changing affordances of family photographs. Both parents and children use their digital devices, particularly smartphones, as cameras to document their lives and to share photos with others. However, the interviews show that parents feel uncertainty about the future of their photos, both in terms of potential uses and misuses of their images and concerns regarding how to preserve their images. The tensions and negotiations brought about by the use of digital technologies in family relations can be seen as a result of the dynamics of a participatory surveillance culture (Albrechtslund, 2008) shaped by digital media.


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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultures of Participation : Arts, Digital Media and Cultural Institutions
EditorsBirgit Eriksson, Carsten Stage, Bjarki Valtysson
Number of pages19
Place of publicationAbingdon
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9780367218386
ISBN (Electronic)9780429266454
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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