Invasion of privacy suffered by the poor explored in public talk

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Feb 27, 2018

Khiara M. Bridges
Khiara M. Bridges

Khiara M. Bridges, a Boston University law and anthropology professor, discusses her new book, The Poverty of Privacy Rights, in a public lecture on March 8, 5:30–7 p.m. at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa art auditorium.

Bridges has investigated the experiences of poor mothers who try to seek public assistance through interactions with government agencies. She argues that their rights of privacy, anchored in the United States Constitution, are denied because America’s culture equates poverty with immorality.

“We need to change the narrative circulating in society around why people are poor, and why people want to be parents despite their poverty,” she said. “If we had these different stories, we might have different laws.”

Bridges adds that the current narrative “goes a long way toward explaining why we’ve come to respect and value the privacy rights of those with a little bit of money in our society, while completely stripping those without money of the ability to shield themselves from state oversight.”

The lecture is sponsored by the William S. Richardson School of Law and UH Mānoa departments of anthropology, political science, ethnic studies and Native Hawaiian and indigenous health.