Policing and the Condition of England: Memory, Politics and Culture

Overview


Citizens, it is said, have 'lost faith' in the English police. Opinion polls repeatedly show that trust in, and respect for, the police have declined precipitously from the historically high levels achieved during the 'golden age' of the 1950s. Successive decades of rising crime, political violence and urban disorder, miscarriages of justice, and declining effectiveness have left the police in what seems like a permanent crisis of legitimation. A once revered national ...
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Overview


Citizens, it is said, have 'lost faith' in the English police. Opinion polls repeatedly show that trust in, and respect for, the police have declined precipitously from the historically high levels achieved during the 'golden age' of the 1950s. Successive decades of rising crime, political violence and urban disorder, miscarriages of justice, and declining effectiveness have left the police in what seems like a permanent crisis of legitimation. A once revered national institution has become thoroughly profane.

In this major new work on the relationship between English policing and culture, Ian Loader and Aogán Mulcahy reassess and revise this received sociological and popular wisdom on the fate that has befallen the English police. Paying close attention to the symbolic and cultural significance of the police, Loader and Mulcahy document the mix of profane and sacred sensibilities that struggle with one another to determine the contours of what they call English policing culture. They draw on documentary analysis of official 'representations' of policing, and oral historical research with citizens, police officers, former government ministers and civil servants, to show that, far from being 'demystified', policing is a cultural institution that remains deeply entangled with questions of subjectivity, recognition, belonging and collective identity.

This cultural sociology of English policing sheds new light on the social changes and conflicts that have called police authority into question in the decades since 1945 and offers an important appraisal of what is at stake in the contemporary cultural politics of policing.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In eight complementary and elegantly interwoven chapters, the authors present an erudite and informative book that quite simply should be required reading for scholars of institutional orders and shipping....This is an admirable work of sociocultural analysis."--American Journal of Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198299066
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology Series
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Loader graduated with a law degree from the Sheffield University in 1986 and then worked for a year as a law lecturer at Liverpool Polytechnic. He subsequently spent five years in the Faculty of Law at the University of Edinburgh from where he obtained a M.Sc Legal Studies (Criminology) in 1988 and a Ph.D. in 1993. From 1990-1992 he was a lecturer in criminology and jurisprudence in the Faculty. In 1992 he took up a lectureship in the Department of Criminology at Keele University where he remains. He was promoted to a senior lectureship in 1999, and a readership in 2002.

Aogán Mulcahy graduated from University College Galway in 1987 with a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He studied at the University of Stirling and at Northern Illinois University, before receiving his Ph.D. in Justice Studies from Arizona State University in 1998. From 1991-1992 he was a research officer at the University of Leeds, and from 1997-1999 he was a research fellow in criminology at Keele University. He joined the sociology department at University College Dublin in 1999, where he is currently a college lecturer. In 2001-2002 he was awarded a Government of Ireland Research Fellowship.

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Table of Contents

Settings and Reorientations
1. Losing Faith?: Policing and Social Change in England since 1945
2. On Symbolic Power: Towards a Cultural Sociology of Policing
Narratives of Policing and Culture
3. The Eclipse of the English Bobby
4. The Fracturing of Police Authority
5. The Cultural Politics of Police, 'Race', and Nation
6. The Job and the Force
7. The Power of the Police Voice
8. Cultures of Police Governance
Past and Present in Contemporary Policing
9. English Policing and Contemporary Culture

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