Death on the roof: Race and bureaucratic failure

Harvey Molotch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The inadequacy of response to the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina should not be attributed to "bureaucracy." Real bureaucracies, as opposed to idealized Weberian models of them, often deal effectively with changing or even unique circumstance. The failure was not in a mode of social organization but in the perverse priorities, inflected with racism, that allowed "work to rule" as default practice. Given the situation at hand, this was pathological bureaucracy, not normal bureaucracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-34
Number of pages4
JournalSpace and Culture
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Fingerprint

bureaucracy
roof
death
racism
social organization
hurricane
organization
Bureaucracy

Keywords

  • "Work to rule"
  • Bureaucracy
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • New Orleans
  • Racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Cite this

Death on the roof : Race and bureaucratic failure. / Molotch, Harvey.

In: Space and Culture, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2006, p. 31-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Molotch, Harvey. / Death on the roof : Race and bureaucratic failure. In: Space and Culture. 2006 ; Vol. 9, No. 1. pp. 31-34.
@article{359e29ef2aa846a9a0381d5ea7a7938f,
title = "Death on the roof: Race and bureaucratic failure",
abstract = "The inadequacy of response to the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina should not be attributed to {"}bureaucracy.{"} Real bureaucracies, as opposed to idealized Weberian models of them, often deal effectively with changing or even unique circumstance. The failure was not in a mode of social organization but in the perverse priorities, inflected with racism, that allowed {"}work to rule{"} as default practice. Given the situation at hand, this was pathological bureaucracy, not normal bureaucracy.",
keywords = "{"}Work to rule{"}, Bureaucracy, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, Racism",
author = "Harvey Molotch",
year = "2006",
doi = "10.1177/1206331205283993",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "9",
pages = "31--34",
journal = "Space and Culture",
issn = "1206-3312",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Death on the roof

T2 - Race and bureaucratic failure

AU - Molotch, Harvey

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - The inadequacy of response to the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina should not be attributed to "bureaucracy." Real bureaucracies, as opposed to idealized Weberian models of them, often deal effectively with changing or even unique circumstance. The failure was not in a mode of social organization but in the perverse priorities, inflected with racism, that allowed "work to rule" as default practice. Given the situation at hand, this was pathological bureaucracy, not normal bureaucracy.

AB - The inadequacy of response to the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina should not be attributed to "bureaucracy." Real bureaucracies, as opposed to idealized Weberian models of them, often deal effectively with changing or even unique circumstance. The failure was not in a mode of social organization but in the perverse priorities, inflected with racism, that allowed "work to rule" as default practice. Given the situation at hand, this was pathological bureaucracy, not normal bureaucracy.

KW - "Work to rule"

KW - Bureaucracy

KW - Hurricane Katrina

KW - New Orleans

KW - Racism

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=36849086567&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=36849086567&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/1206331205283993

DO - 10.1177/1206331205283993

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:36849086567

VL - 9

SP - 31

EP - 34

JO - Space and Culture

JF - Space and Culture

SN - 1206-3312

IS - 1

ER -