Police Beat: The Emotional Power of Music in Police Work

by Simone Dennis


This book is concerned with the social processes of being and becoming emotional and of making music, and the ways in which these processes are intertwined in the context of an Australian police department that wields subtle forms of power by emotional and musical means. The book is based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in a metropolitan police (concert) band. Of primary analytic concern is the embodied and social basis of emotion, and its capacity to facilitate connections between persons in and through musical means.

Police Beat moves away from a focus on the cognitive apparatus that produces experiences, and which thusly obscure the far more active and multisensual roles that musicians have in constituting and organizing their own sensual perceptions, to focus on embodied and social experiences of making music, and of making emotion. The book offers new insights into the means and modes of wielding subtle forms of policing power in the contemporary world, and points to the importance of music in organizing the social world.


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