Against Security: How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways, and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger

Against Security: How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways, and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger

by Harvey Molotch
     
 

"Molotch brings both wisdom and remarkable skills to this compelling book, including a prose style that is rich, lively, and a pleasure to read. With keen eye and gifted hand, as well as clear, hard data, he puts the subject of Against Security into context and offers thoughtful and sensible solutions to the problems he draws our attention to."--Kai T.

See more details below

Overview

"Molotch brings both wisdom and remarkable skills to this compelling book, including a prose style that is rich, lively, and a pleasure to read. With keen eye and gifted hand, as well as clear, hard data, he puts the subject of Against Security into context and offers thoughtful and sensible solutions to the problems he draws our attention to."--Kai T. Erikson, author of A New Species of Trouble: Explorations in Disaster, Trauma, and Community

"This remarkable, original book analyzes the frequently misguided efforts of government to instill in people a sense of security. What makes Against Security so unusual is that it goes beyond critique to sympathetic recognition of people's fears, understanding the motives that lead politicians and the public to act in seemingly irrational ways, and recommending practical measures with which to confront threat without transgressing dignity."--Susan S. Fainstein, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

"A breakthrough--Against Security is an original contribution to social theory and a dazzling critique of how security is managed in everyday life and in situations of crisis."--Anthony Giddens, former director of the London School of Economics and Political Science

"This is a major sociological contribution to public debates about the increased security governments across the world have introduced to anticipate risks and prevent disasters. Molotch skillfully connects public fears about security to the private anxieties and intense inequalities these measures have generated, and he urges alternative human strategies developed from daily routines and mutuality."--Bridget M. Hutter, London School of Economics and Political Science

"A mesmerizing exploration of the things that scare us, Against Security exposes the even more frightening unintended consequences of government actions in response. Molotch takes us from the recesses of public restrooms and subways to the workplace, the Katrina disaster, air travel, and the World Trade Center site. His remedies combine expertise with common sense and imagination. A must-read, this is the book for our time."--Diane Vaughan, author of The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA

"Smart, savvy, and life-affirming, Against Security is the much-needed antidote to today's security regime--a regime that, despite its best efforts, succeeds mostly in making everyone's life worse. With his deeply-researched critique of what goes wrong, and his designer's eye for how things might be improved, Molotch has given us an instant sociological classic that is as enjoyable as it is essential."--David Garland, author of The Culture of Control and Peculiar Institution

"In this extremely important and beautifully written book, Molotch offers a highly original reflection on the current quest for security in the United States. His profound insights point out a plethora of expensive problems we have created for ourselves. He offers a solid list of alternative responses that might well avoid these kinds of devastating consequences."--Christina Nippert-Eng, Illinois Institute of Technology

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691155814
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/26/2012
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
278
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition ix

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxi

Chapter 1 Introduction: Colors of Security 1

Chapter 2 Bare Life: Restroom Anxiety and the Urge for Control 22

Chapter 3 Below the Subway: Taking Care Day In and Day Out with Noah McClain 50

Chapter 4 Wrong-Way Flights: Pushing Humans Away 85

Chapter 5 Forting Up the Skyline: Rebuilding at Ground Zero 128

Chapter 6 Facing Katrina: Illusions of Levee and Compulsion to Build 154

Chapter 7 Conclusion: Radical Ambiguity and the Default to Decency 192

Notes 225

Index 251

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >