On pages 357-358 of her essay, Susan Bickford expands on prior work by Hannah Arendt and Richard Sennett, two philosophers of public life, through the following passage:
The public is a place of risk, uncertainty, incompleteness. The outside, as Sennett points out, is a realm of exposure. This is true in the sense of stimulation and learning -- as in being "exposed to a diversity of opinions," exposed to complexity or unexpectedness, to that which is puzzling, different, or new. But exposure also has another meaning, one that has come to be overwhelming -- vulnerability, exposure to hurt and danger, unsafe because not inside... These two senses of exposure can blur into one another; to be exposed to the stranger, one who perceives the world from a different social location, is to be exposed to danger.
So how is it that the second meaning has become "overwhelming?" How is it that the privacy/safety desire so often overwhelms the social/growth desire? And have you seen the triggers to our "safety alarms" that Bickford identifies?