Ethnography has a long history in the humanities and social sciences and has provided the base line in the field of police studies for over 60 years. We have recently witnessed a resurgence in ethnographic practice among police scholars, and this Handbook is a response to that revival. Students and academics are returning to the ethnography arena and the study of police in situ to explain the evocative worlds of the police. The list of ethnographic sites is vast and all have fed the rejuvenation of ethnographic endeavour. Together they suggest innovation, theoretical depth, broad geographical boundaries, multi-site experiments, and multi-disciplinarity, all of which are central to the exploration of police and policing in the twenty-first century.
This Handbook encapsulates the revival of police ethnography by exploring its multidisciplinary field and cataloguing the ongoing ethnographic work. It offers an original and international contribution to the field of police studies and research methods, providing a comprehensive and overarching guide to police ethnography. We see the previous classics in every page and still note the influence of the early ethnographers. At the same time, we see the innovative breadth and diversity of these narratives. The aim of this Handbook is to highlight the mosaic that is police ethnography at a point in time and note with pleasure its contribution to the field once more. Ethnography may be messy, difficult, and at times uncooperative, but its results offer a unique insight into the perspectives of people and organisations that can hide in plain sight.
An accessible and compelling read, this Handbook will provide a sound and essential reference source for academics, researchers, students, and practitioners engaged in police and criminal justice studies.
SECTION ONE: MAPPING THE FIELD: HISTORIES, THEORIES AND CONTROVERSIES 1.The Revival of Police Ethnography: Taking the road less travelled Jenny Fleming and Sarah Charman 2.Police Ethnography: The Classic Era Tim Newburn 3.What is ethnography? Methods, sensibility and product Megan O’Neill, Merlijn van Hulst and Guido Noteboom 4.When is ethnography, ‘real ethnography’? Jenny Fleming and Rod Rhodes 5.Ethnography and the evidenced-informed police practitioner Nigel Fielding 6.Untold stories of police ethnography Anna Souhami 7.Philosophical Anthropology and the Premises of Research about the Police Simon Holdaway and Sarah Charman SECTION TWO: ACCESS AND ETHICS 8.Staying Cool in a Hot Spot: Epistemology, Ethics, and Politics in Police Ethnography Jeffrey T. Martin and Austin D. Hoffman 9..White writing black and blue: Who are our ethnographies for? Andrew Faull 10.A collaborator? Ethnographic issues of police and peer suspicion David Sausdal 11.Outsiders inside: An accidental ethnography of policing in Brazil Viviane de O Cubas, Renato Alves and Roxanna Pessoa Cavalcanti 12.Access to Police Organisations Peter K. Manning 13.Reflections on trust and acceptance in ethnographic studies of policing: the importance of police role conception Frederick Cram 14.Policed Ethnography: Ethical and Practical Considerations Arising from Observations of Public Order Policing in Crowd Situations Geoff Pearson and Charmian Werren 15.Deception, situated ethics and police ethnography David Calvey 16.ACCESS NO AREAS? Breaching the world of armed policing Oliver Clark-Darby 17.Access Denied: Navigating Access during Ethnographic Fieldwork on Police Reform in Kenya Tessa Diphoorn 18.Leaving The Notepad Behind: Discussing the methodological implications of obtaining ethnographic access to the Mexico City municipal police Emilio Garciadiego-Ruiz SECTION THREE: ETHNOGRAPHIC PRACTICE 19.Staging the Racial Optics of Police Vision: The Violent Rehearsal of Traffic Stops Christina Aushana 20.Why positive experiences matter: Appreciative Inquiry in ethnography for understanding and transforming policing Melissa Jardine and Auke J. van Dijk 21.Critical ethnography and the study of policing from ‘the other side' Will Jackson 22.Police ethnography, extraction, and abolition Beatrice Jauregui 23.Police ethnography in exceptional circumstances Matthew Bacon 24.Autoethnography: Analysing the world of policing from within Rafe McGregor 25.Lurking with Paedophile Hunters: Understanding Virtual Ethnography and its Benefits for Policing Research Andy Williams 26.Appreciative ethnography: ‘coming from a position of strength’ Corinne Funnell and Paul Atkinson 27.Reflections on the Parallel Practices of Police Ethnographers and Covert Police Bethan Loftus, Benjamin Goold and Shane Mac Giollabhui 28.Exploring emotionality in ethnographic encounters: Confessions from fieldwork on policing in Pakistan Zoha Waseem SECTION FOUR: WIDENING THE ETHNOGRAPHIC LENS 29.The city as a medium of future policing Maya Mynster Christensen and Peter Albrecht 30.Security and Policing Shadows: Pendular Ethnography in Urban Brazil Susana Durão, Paola Argentin 31.Going Nodal: Multi-sited Policing Ethnography Jarrett Blaustein, Tariro Mutongwizo and Clifford Shearing 32.Policing and categories of difference Jan Beek 33.Narratives as Plausibility Structures: it’s stories, all the way down Mike Rowe, Elizabeth Turner and Scarlett Redman 34.Police Ethnography and Human Agency Sam O’Brien-Olinger 35.Governmentality studies and police ethnography: Unpacking the complexities of contemporary policing practices Tobias Kammersgaard and Esben Houborg 36.Tying ethnography down: Linguistic approaches to investigating community policing Piotr Węgorowski 37.Blow Up: Ethnography as Exposure Didier Fassin 38.The Public Ethnography of Policing: A Never-Ending Story Paul Mutsaers 39.Can Police Ethnography Save the World? David D. Perlmutter
‘Ethnographers have long been motivated to explore the usually-secretive and often-violent world of policing. As this impressive volume demonstrates, there are rich insights to be gained from ethnographic encounters with the police, just as there are intractable dilemmas to be confronted. Showcasing the work of scholars from across the globe, The Routledge International Handbook of Police Ethnography will stand as a critical reference point for scholars hoping to artfully craft an effective and ethical relationship with the police in the everyday practice of their work.’
Steve Herbert, Professor of Law, Societies, and Justice and Geography at the University of Washington, USA
‘It was once said that criminology dwells alliteratively on cops, crimes and corrections, and cops, occupying a complex and contradictory world in which they exercise a virtual monopoly of legitimate violence, protect and control, signify and are signified, regulate diverse spaces, perform an assortment of tasks (including what has been called the ‘dirty work’ of society), and serve critically as mediators and gatekeepers, have long received a particularly close and fascinated ethnographic scrutiny. The outcome has been much fine writing. The Routledge International Handbook of Police Ethnography is a monumental work that draws on a succession of generations of scholars, from quite early pioneers to fresh young academics, to offer a near global overview of how that ethnography arose, what it entails, how and whence it is done and where it might yet progress. We should be more than grateful to its editors and authors for bringing such an important task to fruition.’
Paul Rock, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
‘Policing practices usually bear little if any relationship to the shiny romantic images promulgated in media and political discourse. Once social scientists began to study policing from the early 1960s the key tool was ethnographic research, a set of deeply immersive methodologies for probing into the cultures and behaviours of these powerful and intriguing institutions. Varieties ethnographic techniques remain pivotal to shedding light on policing. At last, this central element of understanding police and policing has been done justice by this magnificent volume. The editors, distinguished researchers, and scholars in their own right, have assembled a wonderful array of contributors covering a comprehensive range of theoretical, methodological and substantive issues. They range from all the generations of policing research and are drawn from every continent. They include pioneering superstars of the classic era of police ethnographies to outstanding researchers in early stages of their careers. The intellectual quality of the contributions is consistently first rate, a testimony to the editor's knowledge and command of this rapidly growing field. The book is a must have not only for social science researchers but for practitioners and policy makers concerned with policing. It provides an indispensable global guide to this vital field.’
Robert Reiner, Emeritus Professor of Criminology in the Law Department, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
‘I started doing ethnographic research on police as a young doctoral student. There was no course available to guide me, and supervisory input was limited. We now have what I consider to be the definitive handbook on police ethnography. Its value lies not simply in reviewing past ethnographies which have fundamentally shaped policing scholarship, but in generating new thinking about contemporary dilemmas and opportunities. It provides insight and valuable guidance into what it means to do police ethnography in a time of a pandemic, and in a digital era. It also invites the readers to consider ethnographic encounters that represent a shift away from condemnation to co-created knowledge. It provides a platform for deliberating how policy and practice align (or not), how to navigate dilemmas about whistleblowing and researcher positionality, and how to make sense of the web of nodal actors. Critically, it also talks to the vexed question of presenting and disseminating policing ethnographies that include sensitive information. This handbook may well become a classic text for all ethnographic research, with police and policing as a lens.’
Monique Marks, Head of the Urban Futures Centre, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa