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Police ethnography: a discussion of the unique opportunities and challenges of ‘doing ethnography’.

Cram, F. ORCID:, Fleming, J., Charman, S., Souhami, A., Pearson, G., Werren, C., Zoha, W., De Oliveira Cubus, V., Sausdal, D., O'Neill, M., Diphoorn, T., Aushana, C. and Bacon, M. 2023. Police ethnography: a discussion of the unique opportunities and challenges of ‘doing ethnography’. Presented at: 23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Universita Degli Studi Firenze, Florence, Italy., 06 September 2023.

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The popularity of police ethnography as a way of observing the social world waxed and waned following the halcyon period of the 1970s to the extent that Peter Manning, perhaps one of the most prominent ethnographers in police studies, predicted a swift and final ‘ethnographic fade’ (2014: 36). However, that ‘fade’ has flickered back to life and police ethnography is enjoying an expansion and revival. It is providing new opportunities for scholars to re-evaluate old ideas and past conclusions and to examine the relationships between police and those who encounter them in a different context. In this session, contributors to the recently published International Handbook of Police Ethnography discuss the fundamental premises of ethnography and explore the everyday realities of policework. Additionally, the session aims to explore the ethical dimensions of ‘doing ethnography’ in the policing world and the dilemmas and challenges of accessing and negotiating the policing environment.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Cardiff Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (CCLJ)
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2023 09:30

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