Yan Song Lee

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Corey Colyer

Committee Co-Chair

Jason Manning

Committee Member

Jesse Wozniak


Historically, top-down surveillance -- surveillance from the state and other organizations -- has dominated social life, but not anymore. Technological advances drove down the price of surveillance equipment which aided in the proliferation of devices such as dashboard cameras. The widespread use of affordable surveillance equipment gave rise to the phenomenon of lateral surveillance, whereby laypersons can employ surveillance techniques to monitor individuals around them. The Singapore metropolis provides an excellent example with the ubiquitous use of dashboard cameras for cars today. In this research, I focus on Singaporean rideshare drivers who are simultaneously subjected to traditional forms of top-down surveillance from rideshare corporations, as well as lateral surveillance from the dashboard cameras of other road users. Contrary to the belief that individuals are always sceptical of surveillance, the respondents on average reported a positive perception of both top-down and lateral surveillance. Using Ulrich Beck's concept of risk society, I posit that an individual's appraisal of a surveillance system is directly related to the amount of risk the surveillance system mitigates for him or her.