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The Material Reality of State Violence: The Case of Police Militarization

Chapter

The Material Reality of State Violence: The Case of Police Militarization

Abstract

This chapter makes the case that the violence associated with police militarization is not "senseless"; rather, it is a crucial component of a rational and robust political-economic and racial project. This analysis examines the foundational role that CJ economic forces assert in driving state violence, and the threat thereof, particularly as it relates to police militarization.
 
Notes
            
  
         
   
       
           

  
                
        
                
               

             
  
         
      
           
               
             
  
  
References
          

  
  
 
   
  
          

  
J.,            
   
             
  
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The military and police professions share a number of common facets, but in spite of surface similarities, the two professions are significantly different. Consequently, the evidence indicating a convergence of primary aspects of the two roles presages an important societal development, with substantial implications on several levels. Thus, this article has several objectives. First, it reviews the evidence indicating role convergence, that is, evidence that significant segments of police operations in the United States have taken on military characteristics; and evidence indicating that many U.S. military initiatives have taken on policing characteristics. Next, using the notion of internal and external role-change “drivers,” it examines how such role shifts occur and considers some political and legal implications of the shift. Third, the article compares the role orientations and job demands of both professions, identifying the important differences inherent in the two roles and presenting an analysis of the occupational implications of role convergence for job holders, job evaluators, and job “clients” (i.e., ordinary citizens). The last section considers the implications of role convergence for role management.
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In this article, I use the tenets of media studies scholarship to reformulate David Garland’s account of the shifts in sanctioning policy that began in the 1970s. I address the media’s prominent role in shaping public mentalities and sensibilities that were incompatible with penal welfarism and supportive of more punitive policies. In particular, I analyze media coverage of the policy debate and also dramatic depictions of crime. I argue that the media were more influential in shaping public attitudes toward sanctioning policy than Garland suggests.
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Boone, C. (2015). Update: Federal charges brought against officer in Baby Bou Bou case. The Atlanta ]011mal-Constit11tion, July 22.
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Booth, W. (1997). Exploding number of SWAT teams sets off alarms. Washington Post,June 17.