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NCJ Number: 76523 Find in a Library
Title: Policing a Class Society - The Expansion of the Urban Police in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (From Crime and Capitalism, P 292-313, 1981, David F Greenberg, ed. - See NCJ-76520)
Author(s): S L Harring
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Mayfield Publishing Co
Palo Alto, CA 94301
State University of New York Research Foundation
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
Sale Source: Mayfield Publishing Co
285 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Two views of late 19th and early 20th century police -- as corrupt, inefficient officials and as violent strike breakers and social control instruments -- are reconciled from a class struggle perspective.
Abstract: While the police during this period were inefficient in enforcing some forms of laws -- those concerned with less serious crimes in working class neighborhoods -- they were highly efficient in protecting the interests of the ruling class. Bribery played an important role in this dichotomous situation; police officers were paid by capitalists to disrupt strikes and protect their property. Police forces usually functioned as groups during strike actions under the direct supervision of the petty bourgeoise. Also, working class police officers were rewarded with high pay, and were indoctrinated in the importance of enforcing laws and protecting property. Finally, inefficiency in enforcing laws in working class communities was permitted by the ruling class as a method for gaining access to immigrant communities for socialization purposes. Response to strike and other class struggle activities was a major factor in expanding police forces, in introducing new technology, and in centralizing and bureaucratizing the police force, and creating the framework for the police forces of today. Notes and 59 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Police Brutality; Police corruption; Social classes; Social control theory; Strikes
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