Police Beat: The Emotional Power of Music in Police Work

by Simone Dennis

Table of Contents



Introduction: An Ethnographic Curtain Raiser

An Emotional Problem

The Embodiment of Police Conduct: Beyond Interactionism

Chapter One: Complex and Nuanced Conceptions of Emotion, Music and Fieldwork

Tangled Threads: Emotion, Music, Power

A Phenomenology of Emotions: Embodied and Musico-Sensual Dimensions

Power: The Emotion Police

Ethnographic Engagements

Chapter Two: Embodied Disconnection: Police, Emotion and the Social Body

Embodied Sociality and Emotion

Emotional Expressions that are not Emotional: The Ethnographic Difference Between Thinking and Feeling

The Artificiality of the Thin Blue Line

Erasing Evidences of Emotion from the Police Body

Achieving Embodied Disconnectedness via (non visual) Surveillance

Chapter Three The Recipe for Sad


An Invitation to the Present Body

Synaesthetic Surveillance and the Pain of Separation

Synaesthetic Surveillance: Hearing Undeaf to Itself

The Tiny of the Titanic

Listening Audiences, Instrumentalized Players

The Recipe for Sad and the Buzz of the Sad Performance

Chapter Four Becoming an Instrumentalized Person

Some Orienting Notes

Performance Experience




Taste and Smell

Becoming a Band

Chapter Five: Law Enforcement Officers Will Now Sing ‘My Heart Will Go On’ (Or Metonyms and Contradictions)

Emotion—Not Meta-Emotion

Power-Laden ‘Material Memories’

Three Kinds of Materiality: Police Bodies, Instrument Bodies, Sounds and Musical Genre

Police Bodies as Material Memories

Musical Material Memories: Sonic and Visual

Seeming Contradictions

Chapter Six: The Final Curtain




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