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Police Work 9780262131308

Police Work

The Social Organization of Policing

ISBN-10: 0262131307
ISBN-13: 9780262131308
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: Based on extensive fieldwork in England and the United States, Police Workarticulates a perspective on policing as an activity, as an organization, as a set of symbolic repertoires and situated actions, and as a source of myth, drama, and commonsense theories of social conduct. The evolution of a public mandate for policing as it is practiced today has resulted in the dilemma Manning sets forth in his introductory chapter: "They have charted a course of claiming responsibility for the maintenance of public order and the prevention of crime, yet their resources in the sense of public consensus and the level of cooperation that facilitates effective action are diminishing. They are the target for ever-increasing public demand for a level of public order and crime prevention they cannot possibly fulfill. They, like any other reasonable organization faced with an uncontrollable environment, an indifferent audience seldom moved to cooperative action, and massive discrepancies between their claims and their accomplishments have resorted to the dramatic management of the appearance of effectiveness." The "dramatic management of the appearance of effectiveness"—both within the polic hierarchy and in interactions between the police and the public—forms the core of Manning's discussion. He approaches it from a historical perspective beginning with the first London Metropolitan Police, and shows how the police mandate was gradually transformed from simple protection of citizens and their property from the "dangerous classes" to the paramilitary "crime-fighting" of today. The myths and rituals surrounding police work—both within and beyond the police organization—are examined, as are the evolution of police policy and the inherent contradictions of police-community relations. The police, Manning contends, are not really in the crime-control business. What they spend most of their time doing—and do badly because they do not consider it "real" police work—is supplying human services. As long as they encourage the public to think of them as "crime-fighters," which in today's complex society they cannot possibly be, and refuse to develop new modes of crime control and service delivery, they will be caught in the middle of public and political controversy.

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CATEGORY: Political Science

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