Enacting the sacred: nation and difference in the comparative sociology of the police

Murji, Karim ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7490-7906 (2009) Enacting the sacred: nation and difference in the comparative sociology of the police. Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 7 (1). pp. 23-37. ISSN 1479-4012

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The Policeman in the Community by Michael Banton is viewed as a seminal work in the Anglo-American sociological study of the police. This article – which draws on and cites a personal dialogue with Banton himself - sets this work in context by outlining the intellectual formation of its author in the 1950s, before setting out the main theoretical and methodological aspects of this study. It is argued that the idea of sacredness is established through Banton's Durkheimian approach and anthropological methods and, in particular, through the dichotomization of Britain and the USA. This is shown to rely upon a number of key contrasts between nations. As well as arguing that the comparative method employed is itself productive of the sacred/profane contrast, I aim to suggest how Banton's ideas have been influential in police studies. However, it is also argued that Banton is ultimately ambivalent about the value of sacred status.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1080/14794010802658807
Additional Information: © 2009 Taylor & Francis. This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Vol. 7, Iss. 1, 2009, available online at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14794010802658807.
Subjects: Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice
Law and criminal justice
Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Policing and criminal investigations
Social sciences
Depositing User: Karim Murji
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2017 09:49
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:54
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/4020


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