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Biography And Method

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Chapter Summary

Through informal contacts, namely, friends in the police force, the author was able to secure the permission of the Commissioner of the Singapore Police to be attached to a police division for a period of three years starting in 1997. The police are often held to be the most secluded part of the criminal justice system. Like other state institutions and agencies of formal social control, the police organisation erects barriers against prying outsiders and endeavours to present a favourable image of itself to the extent of mystifying and even falsifying accounts for public consumption. These structural features of isolation and secrecy, coupled with the perceived and intrinsic dangers of police work, help to form an occupational culture that is solidaristic and wary of non-initiates. The classification of a 'domestic violence incident', however, is problematic and has to be unpacked for it raises certain methodological issues.

Keywords: domestic violence incident; police culture; public consumption; Singapore



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