Autoethnography: Analysing the World of Policing from Within

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The purpose of this chapter is to provide an analysis of autoethnography as a policing research method. I open with an introduction to autoethnography as a research method, distinguishing between analytic and evocative autoethnography. I then discuss the variety of ways in which serving and former police officers have published studies and stories based on their experience, which includes autobiographies, novels, and analytic autoethnographies. After summarising and contextualising my five years as a city police officer, I explore the relationship between that service and the findings of my own analytic autoethnography, measuring my study against the established standards of the fieldwork model of research. Finally, I consider whether other research methods could have produced the same results and defend analytic autoethnography against the accusation of redundancy. My conclusion is that analytic autoethnography is a valuable method for social scientists to deploy in policing research and, as such, a new horizon for police ethnography.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Police Ethnography
EditorsJenny Fleming, Sarah Charman
ISBN (Electronic)978-0367539399
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


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