My previous posts gave an overview of the books that I was reading every week. After having read a number of books, that contain different viewpoints, I now have a more critical view on the subject of privacy.
The last few weeks I have focused my reading on certain textbooks from both Sociology and Psychology, but also on some books regarding privacy specifically (I discussed the second option with our lecturer and have taken his approval).
As far as Sociology is concerned, I read certain chapters from “Sociology” textbook by Giddens, that refer to social networks, as well as “The Power of Identity” by Castells. It was of great interest to my research finding out the differences between social networks and groups. “Thinking Sociologically” by Bauman helped me understand their differences more in depth, as the author describes in detail the way social groups are formed and behave towards other groups.
The “Power of Identity” along with a book entitled “The Invasion of Privacy”, written in the ’70s, helped me both to understand the relationship between people’s privacy and the State and the steps that the State has or hasn’t (??) taken towards protection of privacy from the ’70s till today.
As far as Psychology is concerned, I continued reading the “Social Psychology” textbook, which helped me focus more on the Self, his characteristics and the way the self regulates people’s behaviour. A book entitled “Between Public and Private – The Lost Boundaries of the Self”, helped me get a grip on further concepts that deal with the self and privacy, such as intimacy. Reading another textbook entitled “Applied Social Psychology” helped me understand the importance of material possesions in exerting control over other people and showing a social status.
Another book that appeared to be valuable to my study was “Privacy” by Young, which focused on several concepts that are related to privacy, such as anonymity, solitude, loneliness and confidentiality.
Finally, I have begun to focus my research on comparing the two disciplines and their relation to the concept of privacy. Psychologists place privacy at a micro scale, they consider it a problem of each individual, whereas sociologists locate it at a macro scale and regard privacy as a social issue. Which one is right and which one is wrong? Or are they both correct? More on this matter, in my final report…