Understanding Police Culture / Edition 2

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Police culture has been widely criticized as a source of resistance to change and reform, and is often misunderstood. This book seeks to capture the heart of police culture-including its tragedies and celebrations-and to understand its powerful themes of morality, solidarity, and common sense, by systematically integrating a broad literature on police culture into middle-range theory, and developing original perspectives about many aspects of police work.

  • The first section addresses the definition of culture and the understanding of police culture, while section two moves on to themes of police culture.
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Editorial Reviews

Integrates and synthesizes existing police culture research. After an explanation of what the author means by culture and police culture specifically, he presents 23 discussions of self perpetuating themes of police culture which link activity and sentiment. The themes are organized into sections on coercive territorial control which includes dominion, force, and guns; uncertainty, including edge control, danger anticipation, and suspicion; views of the group, including masculinity, racism, and police morality; general cultural themes such as deterrence through force, individual responsibility, police as outsiders, creativity with the truth, and distrust of bureaucracy; and finally, police views of death. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583605455
  • Publisher: Anderson Publishing Company OH
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 1,082,485
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

John P. Crank is a Professor in School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He received his M.A. in Sociology from the University of Arizona, his M.P.A. from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado. He has published in the area of police effectiveness, and in the areas of organizational culture and structure, focusing on the police and on parole and probation. He has also published on criminal justice theory and counter-terrorism and was the recipient of the Academy of Criminal Justice Science's Outstanding Book Award in 2004 for his book Imagining Justice (Anderson Publishing).
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Table of Contents

Part I: Understanding Police Culture


1. Culture and Knowledge

2. Issues in the Study of Police Culture

3. Culture and Cultural Themes

4. Articulating Police Culture and Its Environments: Patterns of Line-Officer Interactions

Part II: Themes of Police Culture

Section I: Coercive Territorial Control

5. The Moral Transformation of Territory

Theme: Dominion

6. Force Is Righteous

Theme: Force

7. Crime Is War, Metaphor

Theme: Militarization

8. Stopping Power

Theme: Guns

Section II: Themes of the Unknown

9. The Twilight World

Theme: Suspicion

10. Danger Through the Lens of Culture

Theme: Danger and Its Anticipation

11. Anything Can Happen on the Street

Theme: Unpredictability and Situational Uncertainty

12. No Animal Out There Is Going to Beat Me

Theme: Turbulence and Edge Control

13. Seductions of the Edge

Theme: Seduction

Section III: Cultural Themes of Solidarity

14. Angels and Assholes: The Construction of Police Morality

Theme: Police Morality

15. Common Sense and the Ironic Deconstruction of the Obvious

Theme: Common Sense

16. No Place for Sissies

Theme: Masculinity

17. Mask of a Thousand Faces

Theme: Solidarity

18. America’s Great Guilty Crime Secret

Theme: Racism

Section IV: Loosely Coupling Cultural Themes

19. On Becoming Invisible

Theme: Outsiders

20. Individualism and the Paradox of Personal Accountability

Theme: Individualism

21. The Truth Game

Theme: Deception

22. Cop Deterrence and the Soft Legal System

Theme: Deterrence

23. The Petty Injustice and Everlasting Grudges

Theme: Bullshit

Section V: Death and Police Culture

24. Thinking About Ritual

25. The Culture EaterTheme: Death

26. Good-bye in a Sea of Blue

Theme: Police Funerals

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