Aspects of the Anglo-American Police Organization

Peter K. Manning

in Policing Contingencies

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226503516
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226503523 | DOI:
Aspects of the Anglo-American Police Organization

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This chapter examines changes in policing. It begins with a definition of policing and a sketch of police organization, because they set the context for seeing the other changes in the media, technology, and the police role. It then lists sixteen features of Anglo–American policing, which pattern the nature of change and the symbolization, or representation, of changes unfolding in the past thirty years. In many respects, the structure and function of policing have little changed in the last thirty years. Indicative of the tensions and anomalies in policing, matters called contradictions that arise from an evolving structure, sediments of past adjustments, compromises, and sentiments, are a series of claims made by the police. These are rhetorical moves that in brief, almost encoded, fashion elevate their power, virtue, even-handedness, modesty, and self-effacing nature and mark for appreciation their efficiency and accessibility as an organization. These rhetorical moves conceal as well as reveal and are in effect mini-ideologies that point to underlying unresolved contradictions.

Keywords: Anglo–American policing; police organization; contradictions; media; symbolization; rhetorical moves; representation

Chapter.  11240 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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