Podcast for Social Research, Episode 54: Night of Ideas—Security Hoarding: Moving Beyond the Culture of Constant Vigilance
Episode 54 of the Podcast for Social Research, a companion piece to Episode 53, is a live recording of Suzanne Schneider’s 11pm lecture at the 2022 Night of Ideas. In answer to the evening’s prompt “Where are We Going?” Schneider delves into the realm of risk, which has come to structure ever-increasing portions of individual, social and political life. And as risk has become “privatized,” its management has become a site for profit-making, with industries ranging from health care to firearms selling “safety” products pitched to privileged, middle- and upper-middle class subjects. How can we distinguish risk, fear, and paranoia? In what sense is risk a commercial concept? And what are the effects—individual and societal—of assuming an actuarial mindset when navigating social and political interactions? Does the culture of constant vigilance, of security hoarding as a lifestyle, in fact make us less safe?