This cartoon is the brilliant takes on how emergency situations are handled by bureaucratic organizations. Here, the only responses of the bureaucrat to a person in distress are either the literal use of the instruction manual as a rescue device or the conversion of the SOS signals into paragraphs of instructions and regulations. This is what Merton would call “trained incapacity.”
Source: Holzer, M., Illiash, I., Gabrielian, V., & Kuznestsova, L. (2010). Red Tape from Red Square:Bureaucratic Commentary in Soviet Graphic Satirical Art. Poughkeepsie, NY: NetPublications
Art, Satire, Cartoons, Bureaucracy, SOS, Trained Incapacity, Emergency
Rozantsev, V., SOS, Rutgers, 1970s
Rozantsev, V., “SOS,” Virtual Museum of Public Service, accessed August 20, 2022, https://vmps.omeka.net/items/show/479.