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The Cultural Construction of Safety and Security

Imaginaries, Discourses and Philosophies that Shaped Modern Europe

278 pages
Amsterdam University Press
This volume analyses cultural perceptions of safety and security that have shaped modern European societies. The articles present a wide range of topics, from feelings of unsafety generated by early modern fake news to safety issues related to twentieth-century drug use in public space. The volume demonstrates how ‘safety’ is not just a social or biological condition to pursue but also a historical and cultural construct. In philosophical terms, safety can be interpreted in different ways, referring to security, certainty or trust. What does feeling safe and thinking about a safe society mean to various groups of people over time? The articles in this volume are bound by their joint effort to take a constructionist approach to emotional expressions, artistic representations, literary narratives and political discourses of (un)safety and their impact on modern European society.
Author Bio
Gemma Blok is a professor in the History of Mental Health and Culture at the Open University of the Netherlands. Her areas of expertise are the histories of psychiatry, addiction treatment, and drug use. She was a principal investigator in the HERA-funded project Governing the Narcotic City. Imaginaries, Practices and Discourses of Public Drug Cultures in European Cities from 1970 until Today. Jan Oosterholt is assistant professor at the Dutch Open University. He is specialised in nineteenth-century literature and has published books and articles on literary poetics, imagology and adaptations. His current research focuses on literary transfers and theatrical texts.