1st Edition

Race, Riots and Policing Lore and Disorder in a Multi-racist Society

By Michael Keith Copyright 1993

    Originally published in 1993, this was the first systematic attempt to understand the criminalization of Black people without resorting to either crude state conspiracy theories or pathological portrayals of Black communities. Instead, the author places police/Black conflict in a geographical and historical context. A rigorous analysis of recent riots in London, informed by theoretical debates at the time, allowed Keith to demonstrate that both the riots and subsequent popular and official analysis had determined policies which had heightened the criminalization of the Black community.

    The ethnographic study of police/Black antagonism in three key areas of London highlights a police force struggling with an historical legacy that transcends the actions of particular officers. This book demonstrates that meaningful understanding of contemporary policing depends on situating ethnographic accounts firmly within the social and political context in which the police are forced to operate. It will be of great value to students of sociology, race relations, social geography, criminology and politics, as well as to professionals in the race relations field and the police service.

    This book is a re-issue originally published in 1993. The language used is a reflection of its era and no offence is meant by the Publishers to any reader by this re-publication.

    Preface and Acknowledgements.  Abbreviations and Acronyms.  Part 1 Lost Times, Forgotten Places  1. From Bad to Worse? Policing and British Black Communities  2. Contested Fictions: Local Histories and Glimpses of the Past  Part 2 1981: That Summer in London  3. Shaggy Dog Riots and Copycat Rioters: The "Riots" in London as a Moral Panic  4. Blame, Guilt and "Causes" of "Riots"  5. The Reality of Insurrection? Empiricism and the Search for the "Average" Rioter  Part 3 "Grief"  6. Front Line Policing in the 1980s  7. Building Stages for Confusion: Power Relations and Policing  8. Misunderstandings? The Resolution of Conflict by Consultation: Assumptions and Contradictions  Part 4 Discipline and Punish?  9. Strategies of Control: the Local Reality of Racial Subordination  10. Policing Reconstructions of Reality  11. Constructing Characters: Racialization and Criminalization into the 1990s.  Appendix.  Bibliography.  Index of Authors Cited.  Subject Index.


    Michael Keith