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I spy with my little eye: a history of the policing of class and gender relations in Eugene, Oregon (USA)

Websdale, Neil Stuart. (1991) I spy with my little eye: a history of the policing of class and gender relations in Eugene, Oregon (USA). PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Abstract

My thesis is that local police in Eugene and Lane County, Oregon, have been integral parts of a process of governmentality which was directed at the constitution and reconstitution of various forms of social order. In terms of class relations we find police mediating and managing a number of antagonisms. This management role took both coercive and consensual forms and was largely concerned with the historical regulation of the proletariat. We witness a more passive role for police in the field of patriarchy. Here law enforcement strategies were non-interventionist vis a vis domestic violence, rape and prostitution. This passivity tended to reproduce the sovereign powers of men over women. In order to grasp the historical function of policing I argue that we must consider its utility in terms of both class and gender relations. While selective policing served to ensure the ongoing governability of the increasing numbers of male wage workers, it also allowed men in general to remain as sovereigns within families. In Section I I draw upon Marxism, Feminism, Poststructuralism and Phenomenology to make explicit my theoretical and methodological approach. My recognition of the importance of human agency is reflected in my use of qualitative sources such as oral histories, government documents, newspapers and court archival material. These sources are augmented by a guarded quantitative analysis of census data, crime statistics and police annual reports. Sections II and III provide historical outlines of national, state and local levels of class (II) and gender (III) relations respectively. In Section IV I discuss the rise of local policing and its relationship to other forms of governmentality. This leads me into a detailed appreciation of the policing of class (V) and gender conflict (VI).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: United States,Social class,Sex role,Social control,Police,Oregon
Subjects: Departments > Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Welshman
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2014 13:44
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015 11:26
View Record in Library Catalogue: http://ioe.sirsidynix.net.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/0/0/5/3?searchdata1=a124805{CKEY}
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