Flying the friendly skies: Why U.S. commercial airline pilots want to carry guns
Fraher, A. L. (2004) Flying the friendly skies: Why U.S. commercial airline pilots want to carry guns. Human Relations, 57 (5). pp. 573-595. ISSN 0018-7267
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726704044310
Previous studies of social systems have shown that organizations develop mechanisms to defend against anxiety inherent in the system. This article uses field theory, systems psychodynamics and a participant observer methodology to examine certain defenses that became activated within a US commercial airline in the post-11 September 2001 period. In particular, it analyzes forces affecting the event of arming pilots with handguns at work. This article’s central claim is that pilots’ desire to be armed resulted from a combination of external and internal pressures, personal valencies and work life changes.
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