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Researching the policed: critical ethnography and the study of protest policing

Jackson, WH Researching the policed: critical ethnography and the study of protest policing. Policing and Society. ISSN 1043-9463 (Accepted)

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Abstract

This article seeks to consider the value of critical ethnography for the study of policing. Specifically, the article explores the benefits and challenges of using ethnographic methods to explore protest policing from the perspective of the policed. Drawing upon a longitudinal study of the policing of protests against ‘fracking’ in England, the article examines the process of conducting research with groups who are being policed in extended protest situations. Writing from a critical criminological perspective, the article suggests that this approach to studying policing from below can help advance our collective understanding of both protest and policing. In this sense, ethnographic research can play a vital role in exploring the experiences of groups marginalised in current debates and this approach provides us with an alternative viewpoint from which to examine the development of police policy and practice. The article suggests that to make this contribution to the study of protest policing, we require research that maintains a critical distance from police forces to gain access to those groups who, due to their negative perceptions and/or experiences of policing, are reluctant to engage with research. Reflecting on the development of ethnographic research on, but not with, police, the article suggest that this critical distance brings both benefits and challenges to academic research.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1602 Criminology, 1605 Policy and Administration, 1607 Social Work
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2019 10:46
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2019 11:25
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10285

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