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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
 

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ISBN-10: 069115581X

ISBN-13: 9780691155814

Pub. Date: 08/26/2012

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Remember when an unattended package was just that, an unattended package? Remember when the airport was a place that evoked magical possibilities, not the anxiety of a full-body scan? In the post-9/11 world, we have become focused on heightened security measures, but do you feel safer? Are you safer?

Against Security explains how our anxieties about

Overview

Remember when an unattended package was just that, an unattended package? Remember when the airport was a place that evoked magical possibilities, not the anxiety of a full-body scan? In the post-9/11 world, we have become focused on heightened security measures, but do you feel safer? Are you safer?

Against Security explains how our anxieties about public safety have translated into command-and-control procedures that annoy, intimidate, and are often counterproductive. Taking readers through varied ambiguously dangerous sites, the prominent urbanist and leading sociologist of the everyday, Harvey Molotch, argues that we can use our existing social relationships to make life safer and more humane. He begins by addressing the misguided strategy of eliminating public restrooms, which deprives us all of a basic resource and denies human dignity to those with no place else to go. Subway security instills fear through programs like "See Something, Say Something" and intrusive searches that have yielded nothing of value. At the airport, the security gate causes crowding and confusion, exhausting the valuable focus of TSA staff. Finally, Molotch shows how defensive sentiments have translated into the vacuous Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site and massive error in New Orleans, both before and after Hurricane Katrina. Throughout, Molotch offers thoughtful ways of maintaining security that are not only strategic but improve the quality of life for everyone.

Against Security argues that with changed policies and attitudes, redesigned equipment, and an increased reliance on our human capacity to help one another, we can be safer and maintain the pleasure and dignity of our daily lives.

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

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