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Against SecurityHow We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways, and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger$
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Harvey Molotch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163581

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163581.001.0001

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Below the Subway: Taking Care Day In and Day Out

Below the Subway: Taking Care Day In and Day Out

(p.50) Chapter 3 Below the Subway: Taking Care Day In and Day Out
Against Security

Noah McClain

Princeton University Press

This chapter moves up from the toilet, at least metaphorically, to the subway. The author and a fellow sociologist spent numbers of months researching the New York subway system, stimulated by the post-9/11 campaigns to increase security for passengers. They focused on the way security interventions meshed—or failed to mesh—with existing procedures of subway work, much of it already oriented toward enhancing safety of riders. They found out a great deal they did not anticipate about the way subways operate. They learned that because the system is already so thick with remedies, there is always a danger that new interventions will upset what is already in place. They observed that from the subway in particular, something of the way official provisioning of safety can indeed contradict safety as actual practice.

Keywords:   New York subway system, mass transport, public transport, security, safety

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