After twenty-five years police service on urban Tyneside, the authorDSa social anthropologistDStransferred, on promotion as Superintendent, to West Mercia Constabulary. The arrival of this 'import' coincided with monetarist demands for efficiency and effectiveness, a political thrust which came hard up against rural ideas of hierarchy, paternalism, and a cultural belief that denied validity to outsiders - such as those in the adjacent West Midlands Police.
Detailing the way West Mercia operated and justified some bizarre practices, the ethnography shows how cultural identity was defined and deployed on a daily basis and explores the diverse and rich cultural baggage the rural world sustained even in the face of intense calls for the management of change.
Reflecting on the lack of financial control he found, the author links all this to the racism he observedDSto a xenophobic means of maintaining social boundaries, defending edgy environments and preserving a semi-closed culture from the intrusions of outsiders.
'This book, by a policeman turned anthropologist, applies the insights of one discipline to the beliefs and dogmas of another. The results are both hilarious and depressing.'
Barbara Weinberger, Policy History Society Newsletter 25
`an extremely readable, even entertaining, book that should be read by anyone with an interest in the police'
`In the Sticks will give readers interested in the culture of policing a good comparative account of the cultural systems in England and will lead the reader to conclude that it is not that different in the United States.'
`Excellent book ... It is a well written, and a well organized work, showing that rare, if not unique combination, of the skills of a trained police detective turned anthropologist and ethnographer ... It should be compulsory reading for all police officers. This account of a police world by a doctor of anthropology who was also a superintendent of police has much to offer the student, the practitioner, and the general reader, but above all to the leaders
of the police service, and their political accomplices.'
British Journal of Criminology
Cultural identity and ethnicity; the anthropologist at home; rural rides; force style; HQ culture at the "Big House"; rural practice and project research; further fiscal follies; expanding the universe; the management of change; the force as family; condition black-negative; personal notes.
Number Of Pages: 322
Published: 4th November 1993
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.2
Weight (kg): 0.67