Gary T. Marx

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For the British musician, see Gary Marx.
Undercover, by Gary T. Marx

Gary T. Marx (born 1938) is a social studies scholar. He was born on a farm in central California, raised in Hollywood, and grew up in Berkeley.

Career Overview[edit]

Gary T. Marx is Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has worked in the areas of race and ethnicity, collective behavior and social movements, law and society and surveillance studies. He is the author of Protest and Prejudice, Undercover: Police Surveillance in America, Collective Behavior and Social Movements (with Doug McAdam) and editor of Racial Conflict,Muckraking Sociology, Undercover: Police Surveillance in Comparative Perspective (with C. Fijnaut), Windows Into the Soul: Surveillance and Society in an Age of High Technology and other books. With Norman Goodman, he revised Society Today and edited Sociology: Popular and Classical Approaches.

Awards and Fellowships[edit]

Undercover received the Outstanding Book Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and Marx was named the American Sociological Association's Jensen Lecturer for 1989-1990. He received the Distinguished Scholar Award from its section on Crime, Law and Deviance, the Silver Gavel Award from the ABA, the Bruce C. Smith Award for research achievement, the W.E.B. Du Bois medal, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the inaugural Outstanding Achievement Award from the Surveillance Studies Network. He has been a research associate at the Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies and Harvard Law School's Criminal Justice Center, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1987–88; 1996–97) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (1997–98). In 1970, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he has received grants from the National Institute of Justice, National Science Foundation, The Twentieth Century Fund, The Whiting Foundation, and the German government. In 1992 he was the inaugural Stice Memorial Lecturer in residence at the University of Washington and he has been a UC Irvine Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow, the A.D. Carlson Visiting Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences at West Virginia University, and the Hixon-Riggs Visiting Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Harvey Mudd College. He received his Ph.D. from The University of California at Berkeley.

Other Teaching and Academic Experiences[edit]

Beyond MIT, he has taught at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, and the University of Colorado. He has been a Visiting Professor at UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Wellesley College, Boston College, Boston University, the State University of New York School of Criminal Justice, Florida State University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Leuven, Louvain-La-Neuve, the Technical University of Vienna, the Onati Institute (Spain), Nankai University (PRC), the University of Puerto Rico, and Université Laval, Quebec; and he has been a visiting scholar at the UC Santa Cruz, Arizona State, the University of Washington, West Virginia University, the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio and the Max Planck Institute at Freiburg. He has given a large number of talks at American, European and Asian universities. He has taught in sociology, social relations, political science, law, psychology, urban studies, criminology and technology, and science and society departments.

Areas of Professional Interest[edit]

In recent decades he has been working on surveillance issues, illustrating how and why surveillance is neither good nor bad, but context and comportment make it so. He has sought to create a conceptual map of new ways of collecting, analyzing, communicating and using personal information. Explanation and evaluation require a common language for the identification and measurement of surveillance's fundamental properties and contexts (e.g., the new surveillance, surveillance society, maximum security society, surveillance creep; surveillance slack, the softening of surveillance, the myth of surveillance, neutralization and counter-neutralization, and four basic surveillance contexts: coercion, contracts, care, and cross cutting, unprotected "publicly" available data). The richness of the empirical must be disentangled and parsed into categories which can be measured. Articles at [] illustrate this. His empirical and theoretical studies on topics such as covert policing, computer matching and profiling, work monitoring, drug testing, location monitoring, Caller-ID and communications manners are not above the occasional stoop to humor. The work argues for the need to understand current surveillance practices within specific settings in light of history, culture, social structure and the give and take of interaction and to appreciate (if not necessarily welcome) the ironies, paradoxes, trade-offs and value conflicts which limit the best laid plans. Mushrooms do well in the dark, but so does injustice. Sunlight may bring needed accountability through visibility, but it can also blind and burn and unlevel playing fields, like the Dude, tend to endure.

Other Publications[edit]

His work has appeared or been reprinted in over 300 books, monographs and periodicals and has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Dutch, German, Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish, Portuguese, Persian, Macedonian, and other languages.

He has written twelve introductions to colleague's books and published sixteen co-authored works with his students. His articles have appeared in academic journals such as American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Problems, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Journal of Social Issues, Theory and Society, Annual Review of Sociology, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, The Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Conflitti Globali, Policing, American Behavioral Scientist, Contemporary Psychology, Rutgers Journal of Law and Urban Policy, the Yale Law Journal, Michigan Law Review, International Annals of Criminology, International Political Sociology, Urban Life, Sociology and Social Research, Crime and Delinquency, Victimology, Computer Software Law Journal, Crime and Justice Systems Annual, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Policing and Society, Justice Quarterly, Criminal Justice Ethics, Crime, Law and Social Change, Telecommunications Policy, Communications of the ACM, Science and Engineering Ethics, Social Justice, The American Sociologist, The Information Society, Ethics and Information Technology, Surveillance and Society, The Sociological Quarterly, Knowledge Technology and Policy, Intelligence and National Security, Law and Social Inquiry, the Asia Pacific Review, Lex Electronica, Criminologie, the Ottawa Journal of Law and Technology, Cahiers Politiestudies, and Theoretical Criminology.

He has also written for popular sources including: California Monthly, Computerworld, Abacus, The Nation, The New Republic, Dissent Magazine, The Harvard Business Review, Society, Psychology Today, Saturday Review, Race Today, The Futurist, Technology Review, The Whole Earth Review Magazine, The UNESCO Courier, California Lawyer, The Responsive Community, The Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice, The Encyclopedia of Democracy, The Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, The Encyclopedia of Violence, The Encyclopedia of Ethical Issues in Politics and the Media, The International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, The Encyclopedia of Police Science, The Encyclopedia of Social Theory, The Encyclopedia of Privacy, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, The Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements, The International Handbook of Surveillance Studies, The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Consumers and Consumption, Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, The Privacy Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Newsday, The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Times of London Higher Education Supplement. He has participated in and helped to develop a number of radio and television documentaries.

Research and Consulting Work[edit]

He has been a consultant to, or served on panels for, national commissions, the House Committee on the Judiciary, the House Science Committee, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Technology Assessment, the Justice Department, and other federal agencies; state and local governments, the European Community and European Parliament, the Canadian House of Commons, The National Academy of Sciences, the Social Science Research Council, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the U.K. Association of Chief Police Officers, public interest groups, foundations and think tanks. He is a longstanding member of the Sociological Research Association, and a widely experienced teacher and lecturer.

Other Professional Affiliations[edit]

He has been on the executive council of the ASA (and has sat on the committees, or chaired, three of its sections) and on the executive committee of the Eastern Sociological Society. He has been an associate editor, or on the editorial board of, The American Sociological Review, Social Problems, The Annual Review of Sociology, The Berkeley Journal of Sociology, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Politics and Society, Qualitative Sociology, Crime, Law and Social Change, Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Justice Quarterly, Criminology, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, The Information Society, Policing and Society, The American Sociologist, Ethics and Information Technology, Critical Media Studies, Surveillance and Society, International Political Sociology, Identity in the Information Society, The International Journal of Intelligence Ethics, Criminological Encounters, and Secrecy. He has been book review essay editor for Sociological Forum; and editor of a Plenum book series on public policy.

He is listed in Who's Who In America and Who's Who in the World.

Selected Newspaper Articles, Letters, and Op-Eds[edit]

"The Cost of Virtue" New York Times, June 29, 1980.

"Police Spying Must Be Controlled" Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1983.

"Defects in Government's Entrapment Standard" New York Times, August 28, 1984.

"We're All Under Surveillance" Los Angeles Times, December 1, 1985.

"Boston's Example on Racial Harassment (with Chuck Wexler) Christian Science Monitor, January 14, 1986.

"Drug Foes Aren't High on Civil Liberties." New York Times, February 24, 1986.

"When a Child Informs on Parents" New York Times, August 29, 1986.

"The Company is Watching You Everywhere" New York Times, February 15, 1987.

"Raising Your Hand Just Won't Do" Los Angeles Times, April 1, 1987.

"Make Sure the Video Camera Doesn't Lie" Newsday, October 23, 1988.

"You'd Better Watch Out! This is the Year of Spying Kits for Kids" Los Angeles Times, December 25, 1988.

"Smile: You're on Candid News" Christian Science Monitor, March 13, 1989.

"DNA 'Fingerprints' May One Day Be Our National ID Card" Wall Street Journal, April 20, 1989.

"When Anonymity of Caller is Lost, We're That Closer to a Surveillance Society" Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1989.

Dial "P" for "Privacy" in New Telephone Technology" New York Times, August 31, 1989.

"When Doing Wrong Means Doing Right" Law Enforcement News, September 15, 1989.

"Now the Techno-Snoopers Want to Get Into Our Genes" Los Angeles Times, September 15, 1989.

"For Sale: Personal Information About You", Washington Post, December 11, 1989.

"Hang Up on Caller ID" Washington Post, January 29, 1990.

"Bosses Should Nix Job In-scent-ives" Newsday, July 6, 1990.

"Under-the-Covers Undercover Work" Law Enforcement News, February 14, 1991.

"Home Voice Mail Doesn't Guarantee Privacy" New York Times, August 24, 1989

"Communication Advances Raise Privacy Concerns" Christian Science Monitor, June 2, 1992 (part of a World Media Project, "Directions in Science," appearing in 27 newspapers worldwide.)

"Let's Eavesdrop on Managers!" Computerworld, April 20, 1992.

"Challenges of Contemporary Parenting: Effectively Applying Drug Tests for Children" Privacy Journal, November, 1998.

"Sex, Truth and Video Tapes: The Case of the French Babysitter" Los Angeles Times, May 28, 2002.

"Are You for Real? Police and Other Impersonators" Newsday, January 16, 2005.

"Camerica? Two Cheers (or less) for the Indiscriminate Spread of Video Cameras in Public Areas" ID Trail Mix, Aug. 2005.

"Who is That Masked Woman? Masking and Unmasking in Public Places" ID Trail Mix. January 2007.

"Trade ‘ya a Sinbad for a Marauder: Drug Fighting, '90s Style" A stillborn Op-Ed article.


External links[edit]

Profiles and reviews of Gary T. Marx and his work: