Privacy and social interaction

Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (8):771-791 (2013)
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This article joins in and extends the contemporary debate on the right to privacy. We bring together two strands of the contemporary discourse on privacy. While we endorse the prevailing claim that norms of informational privacy protect the autonomy of individual subjects, we supplement it with an argument demonstrating that privacy is an integral element of the dynamics of all social relationships. This latter claim is developed in terms of the social role theory and substantiated by an analysis of the role of privacy in intimate relationships, in professional relationships and in social interactions between strangers in public. We conclude by arguing that it is not always reasonable to assume a conflict between individual privacy on the one hand and society on the other. Legislators and participants in public debate also have to take into account the consequences of limiting privacy on social interaction and the integration of the society



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Author Profiles

Dorota Mokrosinska
Leiden University
Beate Roessler
University of Amsterdam