In this talk, Anna Maria Bounds, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Queens College, City University of New York, will discuss her new book, Bracing for the Apocalypse: An Ethnographic Study of New York’s ‘Prepper’ Subculture. The book explores the rise of the urban preppers’ subculture in New York City, shedding light on the distinctive approach of city dwellers in preparing for disaster. With attention to the role of factors such as class, race, gender and one’s expectations of government, it shows that how one imagines Doomsday affects how one prepares for it. Drawing on participant observation, the author explores preppers’ views on the central question of whether to “bug out” or “hunker down” in the event of disaster, and examines the ways in which the prepper economy increases revenue by targeting concerns over developing skills, building networks, securing equipment and arranging a safe locale.
Anna Maria Bounds is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Queens College, City University of New York, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Public Policy from The New School. Her new book, Bracing for the Apocalypse: An Ethnographic Study of New York’s ‘Prepper’ Subculture, is a rich ethnography that explores the rise of urban preppers in her city. Her research interests focus on city subcultures, city tourism, and public space. She teaches courses on urban sociology and social science research methods. She has also earned an M.A. in Writing from Old Dominion University. Her sheltering in place hobbies include analyzing the books and photos displayed by others during virtual meetings, half-hearted decluttering and daydreaming about pet ownership.
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