About the Author

Jörn Ahrens

E-Mail: joern.ahrens@sowi.uni-giessen.de

Jörn Ahrens is Professor of Cultural Sociology at Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany, and Extraordinary Professor in Social Anthropology, North West University, South Africa. He completed his studies in Social Sciences at University of Oldenburg, Germany, from 1989–1995 before completing his PhD in 1999 at Free University Berlin. His Habilitation in Cultural Studies and Cultural Sociology at Humboldt University Berlin was finished in 2006. Research interests include violence, culture, society; popular media and culture; nature and society; theory of the self; theory of culture.

Contributions by Author: Jörn Ahrens

The Ubiquitous View

Surveillance, Imagination, and the Power of Being Seen

To see and be seen is the most explicit obsession in modernity. Our cultural imagination is loaded with images of visual encounters that remain one-sided as clandestine views on the other that deprive the other as individual of its very intimacy. The act of being seen, therefore, is a highly political act. Usually to be seen by the other should demand the act of recognition and, therefore, contribute to the establishment of the self as social subject. […]