Anti-Crisis and Post-Crisis

CrisisServices1

At fellow blog “Society and Space” a recent book is under review, namely, Janet Roitman’s Anti-Crisis (Duke University Press, 2014). This discussion dovetails nicely with some topics on Installing Order some weeks ago with guest blogger Peter Bratsis, wherein I was attempting to suggest that “crisis” is a concept that is sort of like a balloon with the air let out of it (or an “empty container” to mix some metaphors 😉 ), stating:

Living in a state of semi-permanent crisis can be construed as a license to do nothing. Fatigue sets-in. Apathy ensues. Inaction seems plausible.

In Luca Follis’s review of Janet Roitman’s Anti-Crisis we see something similar. This line sticks out:

But is this global state of affairs merely a reflection of a historical, empirical moment or is it an expression of the ease and haste with which we label events as critical (and by extension the way we approach the broader category of crisis)?

Follis is also critical: 

Roitman’s forensic analysis of the crisis concept and its narrative structure is incredibly effective and she argues her broader theoretical points convincingly. Yet at times, this reader was left wondering about the role of agents and their decision making in her rendering. After all, despite its “sanctified power” (page 64), it is still agents that decide on whether any particular event should be categorized as a crisis.

*Image from a crisis counseling center, which may or may not be the same sort of crisis being discussed here: http://counselingcenter.gsu.edu/files/2013/04/CrisisServices1.jpg

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6 thoughts on “Anti-Crisis and Post-Crisis

  1. “Yet at times, this reader was left wondering about the role of agents and their decision making in her rendering. After all, despite its “sanctified power” (page 64), it is still agents that decide on whether any particular event should be categorized as a crisis.”
    yeah, I’m generally dubious that such concepts/labels/categorizations have (or even can have) anything like the power/agency to unify/order/systematize that people would like to ascribe to them even in situations where there may be formal blueprints/marching-orders/treatment-plans/protocols/etc that are supposed to be employed/followed when such a diagnosis has been made. There may be some crying-wolf like effects (like they struggle with when it comes to assigning/broadcasting potentially dangerous weather events) involved but I’m going to guess that overall the diversities involved far outweigh the commonalities (except perhaps in the related literature).

    Like

  2. Pingback: Every nuclear explosion since 1945 | Installing (Social) Order

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