“I think a lot of this has to do with a fear of the indeterminacy and the effect this pandemic will have on civil society,” says Caroline Light, a Harvard senior lecturer on studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality whose research focuses largely on Americans’ relationship to lethal self-defense. Spikes in civil gun purchases often accompany moments of uncertainty or instability, such as periods of economic distress or widespread layoffs, Light explains. “As we see the social capacities of the government eroding, we see more and more people asking this question of, ‘How am I going to survive?’”
This is a CultureHouse “third space,” a place “between home and work to hang out, meet people, create, share skills, and learn,” its website states. Started in 2017, CultureHouse aims to “increase livability and joy in cities,” by designing free-to-use, public infrastructure projects that leverage vacant urban spaces, founder Aaron B. Greiner explains. The Harvard Square location is one of two temporary CultureHouse pop-ups in Cambridge; the other is in Kendall Square.
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