Risk Article and TSA

Reading the Beck article, I was able to draw comparisons in his argument to the current security dilemma of airports in today’s society. We observe this dilemma that Beck describes in the direct relationship between increasing security and decrease in civilian happiness. When TSA announced their introduction to the full body scan shortly after 9/11, the community responded in outrage as it proposed “invasive” and “inappropriate” scans, and further vocalized their outrage to the other form of security search being the pat down performed by a TSA officer. These security processes have been born in order to prevent the unknown and decrease the risk of a security breach that could lead to such events like 9/11.   Drawing off of this, it’s easy to assume that Beck’s statement “the state and technological culture may be under attack, but they are striking back…risks are the likely battle grounds for the somewhat hazy power space of global domestic policies,” (339) becomes more applicable. As these technologies surfaced in airports in the states, the global community responded by increasing their security to match such standards, thus organizing as a community in order to battle the unknown. This generated a category of “political catharsis” and “enforced cosmopolitism,” (340) as actors were forced to interact together in obtaining full global security across international airlines and gateways into other countries in order to battle this risk, as Beck describes. When the community responds in outrage, this proves to be enormous irony. When you purchase an airline ticket, you consent to use the public good of security that the nation in which you fly in and out of provides. In saying so, you agree to entering a secure and safe environment for your safely and others. It is crazy to me that people think that the security should be lessened as 14 years later we are surrounded by images of 9/11 due to this lack of security that airports once had. There was even such organizations in the states that tried to create a “national opt out day” for opting out of the full body scans. A Huffington post on TSA defense mechanisms elaborates this community response in more detail.



1 thought on “Risk Article and TSA

  1. I think Beck would argue that the “safety” and “security” we, as air travelers, feel as a result of increased TSA full body scans is merely an illusion. Practically, TSA screening is reactionary–largely a product of both successful (9/11) and unsuccessful (2009 Detroit Christmas incident) attacks against the U.S. via civilian air travel. This assumes that anti-American “terrorism” will remain static and thus incapable of responding to increased security measures. As if to say those groups who wish to do the U.S. harm can’t figure out any other way to do so besides targeting planes and airports. We know this is absolutely a fallacy. But I think more conceptually, Beck would say these increased airport security measures are a way of pacifying the public’s fears while simultaneously keeping us acutely aware of the potential for “terror” when we fly. Risk remains ever-present despite full body scans.

    – Christina

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