The Transparent Traveler: The Performance and Culture of Airport Security
The Art of Performing Consumer and Suspect: Transparency Chic as a Model of Privileged, Securitized Mobility
2015. "The Art of Performing Consumer and Suspect: Transparency Chic as a Model of Privileged, Securitized Mobility", The Transparent Traveler: The Performance and Culture of Airport Security, Rachel Hall
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Post-9/11 security cultures cultivate transparency chic, or the artful performance of consumer and suspect. The chapter analyzes the Transportation Security Administration’s policies and procedures for monitoring the things that passengers carry onto planes. The airport is akin to a maximum-security mall in which passengers shuttle between spaces of fantasy and scrutiny and are expected to shift between the states of distraction desired of mobile consumers under capitalism and the state of high alert commanded from citizen-soldiers in the war on terror. The chapter discusses the prohibition and confiscation of consumer items, the development of “airport-friendly” products, and the use of the airport security checkpoint as a trope of discipline and deprivation in advertising.
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