The legend of the Slender Man: The boogieman of surveillance culture

  • Abigail Curlew
Keywords: Surveillance, Hybrid Folklore, Digital Vernacular, Slender Man

Abstract

Western societies have developed a culture of surveillance that frames how social actors understand institutional and vernacular forms of “watching”. Through the intersection of folklore, anthropology, and sociology, I explore the performances of the Slender Man legend as a monstrous cultural artifact representative of cultural anxieties around surveillance, social control, and secretive agencies. This blend of disciplines will help illuminate central cultural fears and anxieties within Internet sub-cultural groups. My goal in this paper is to understand how participants of alternate reality games (ARGs) exhibit anxieties about ubiquitous surveillance through uncoordinated collective storytelling.

Author Biography

Abigail Curlew

Ph.D. student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Published
2017-06-01
How to Cite
Curlew, A. (2017). The legend of the Slender Man: The boogieman of surveillance culture. First Monday, 22(6). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i6.6901