The Lie of Heroism

Several elements combined to make the California fires a mega story. And most prominent among the media attention were stories of firefighters that, for the most part, treated “hero” and “firefighter” as synonymous. In fact, little else was said about those men and women on the fireline. The firefighter apotheosized, hallowed and revered, is the dominant image of firefighters we have nowadays. And with this image comes a set of beliefs about what makes firefighters tick, what makes them deploy themselves on the seam between life and death. Firefighting requires courage and selflessness enough, but in referring to firefighters always and only as heroes, do we not look straight through them?

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Notes on Gender and Work-Related Death « Inequality by (Interior) Design

January 26, 2013

[...] death rate than the national average.  This is a fact we might be hard-pressed to think given their cultural apotheosis.  Firemen have a bit of a reputation for putting themselves in harm’s way, and if I had to [...]

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