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The Operational Policing Of Marital Violence: A View From The Street

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the formal processing of marital violence incidents as accomplished by institutionalised policing. The description of the process through which domestic calls for assistance are shaped and translated into relevant categories for appropriate police responses was facilitated by the use of participant observation. The sociology of policing marital violence, thus, must explicate and expose the organisational structure and processes that enable the transformation of data drawn from 'talk', such as telephone calls to the police, into a nexus of shared meanings in order to insure appropriate, context-sensitive, yet a collective organisational response to a domestic incident. The connection between the receipt of a message and actual police response is also reflective of the relationship that exists between the habitus and field. Theoretically, the reconceptualisation of police culture by employing Pierre Bourdieu's distinction between 'habitus' and 'field' emphasises that culture is not free-standing.

Keywords: marital violence; Pierre Bourdieu; police culture; reconceptualisation



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