The Matrix of Care and Control



It is not that individuals fail to appreciate and perceive subtleties, nor to recognise interconnections; it is that in some areas of life we frequently prefer strong and clear messages. We form partial images of many types of activity, which seem to operate at times as a kind of social shorthand. These allow us to distil quickly what we perceive to be the essence of those activities. As far as the police are concerned, and with the image of the Dixon of Dock Green kind of bobby now fast receding from the public’s direct experience and consciousness, there is perhaps an understandable tendency to view the activities of the police as primarily a controlling set of functions.


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© Mike Stephens and Saul Becker 1994

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