Ethnographies of Crime and Policing Test #1 Study Sheet
Lecture #1 Scrutinizing the crimes of the powerful & Why Research Policing?
The crimes of the powerful are far more costly, examples: corporate crimes cause
more victims than the regular street crime. Rather than just one victim there are
multiple victims left in debt, jobless. These committed by states and corporations
have greater economic, physical and social costs than conventional criminals.
White-collar crime is more serious than street gang crimes.
How do the powerful get away with these crimes?
They co-produce law to benefit them, while demonizing marginalized ‘others’. The
ones in power can afford good lawyers, connections, and techniques of neutralizing
In the best interest of those in power it is best that their actions and methods are
made invisible to avoid public being informed and aware.
Secrecy is an obvious manifestation of power maintenance. Corporate and state
crime is well under-documented and reported in mainstream criminology and
criminal justice publishing. Hiding the truth about the severity of white-collar
crime why? Power maintenance & political corruption
Hegemony-leadership or dominance of one group over all others
White-collar crime is almost impossible to detect at times due to conflicting
interests. Bringing attention to corporate crime means bringing attention to
Policing is a social process while “police” refers to a particular institution
Carried out by various social intuitions, not just the police.
Policing is evaluated differently by people with varying social interests, positions
Policing is a universal requirement of any social order
Policing is an aspect of social control: policing forms punishment reproduces
conditions for social order such as childhood socialization or religion.
Policing defines in society “what is deviant, problematic, worrying, threatening”.
This definition is apparent in theories such as broken windows type policing, a
focus on order maintenance, punitive policing, and situational crime prevention.
Neoliberalism from his slides? *****
Evolution of research on Police
Police research only began in the 19060s
Academic research: through disciplines such as sociology, criminology, history
Four stages: consensus, controversy, conflict, and contradiction
*Read more into this
1. The Celebratory Stage (early 1960s)
2. The Controversy Stage (late 1960s-1970s)
3. The Conflict Stage (1980s)
4. The Neoliberal/Crime Control/Order Maintenance Stage (1990s-Present) Insider insider (police officers conducting the research on police) outsiders
insiders (officers who have left the force) inside outsiders (work close to but not
in the actual system) outsider outsider (academics doing police research)
Lecture #2 Ethnographic Approaches and Methods
What is Ethnography?
“Ethnography is the study of groups of people in their natural setting, typically involving
the researcher being present for extended periods of time in order to collect data
systematically about their daily activities and the meaning attached to them”
Rooted in ancient anthropology
The “savage slot”: The savage slot helped to constitute the west as we know it. The West
has neither a specific canon nor borders that can be geographically demarcated. The
West, then, is essentially an internalized set of stories and politics, narratives predicated
upon the Othering of non-Westerners--savages.
The Chicago School: Professor Robert Park encouraged his students to study deviant
groups such as gangs in their natural settings.
Howard Becker (also Chicago School): His study of marijuana users, his work explored
the social processing involved in becoming deviant by observing the process of a
particular behavior being labeled (Labeling theory) as deviant and the impact this label
has on the individual.
Feminist and ethnography: feminists tend