7 September 2021, 15 - 16.30 

Front-line Professionals in the Wake of Public Scrutiny

Arvind Karunakaran

McGill University

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In this research, I examine how front-line professionals respond to public scrutiny via social media, and with what consequences for professional accountability? Based on an ethnography of 911 emergency management, I find that public scrutiny of 911 call-takers – the front-line professionals in this setting – via social media can end up obscuring, as opposed to improving, professional accountability. I elaborate on the processes that produce these paradoxical outcomes and discuss their theoretical implications.