A historical and ethical analysis of the constitutive effects of cameras

Rosalie Waelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Throughout history, cameras have shaped people’s behavior,
perception, norms, and identity formation. Institutions have used
these constitutive effects of cameras in their own advantage. Hence, how cameras shape people is not predetermined. With these lessons from the past in mind, we can take a critical stance toward emerging camera applications. After all, thanks to advances in computer vision, many new uses of cameras are coming our way. Cameras are now put to use for augmented reality, automated surveillance, emotion recognition, facial recognition, and machine vision. Just as cameras have shaped people’s behavior, perceptions, norms, and identity before, and thereby served the systemic power of institutions, these
emerging technologies could do the same. To protect people’s
autonomy and emancipatory progress in society, the constitutive
effects of past, as well as emerging camera applications, are critically examined in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Human-Technology Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023


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