Gisela Pauli Caldas
Search for other papers by Gisela Pauli Caldas in
Current site
Google Scholar
Thomas Widlok
Search for other papers by Thomas Widlok in
Current site
Google Scholar
Approaching foreign milieus
Experiences from a joint seminar with police trainees and anthropology students
in Policing race, ethnicity and culture
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

This contribution is based on reflections from a seminar entitled, ‘Approaching foreign milieus’, which was jointly led by the two authors, combining the training of young police officers, and a seminar on ethnographic methods for young BA students in 2019. Translation work featured in a number of ways in this seminar. First, translation between the methods of policework and the ethnographic methods of African Studies/Anthropology formed much of the content throughout the seminar. Second, the main task for seminar participants was to translate their interests in learning about foreign milieus into actual questions that could be asked to interlocutors. Third, translations took place between the ‘working cultures’ of the applied police training setting and the academic university setting. A fourth level of translation is proposed indirectly, which is a more comparative perspective on differing international police practices and strategies. This chapter includes the results of trying out methods in practical exercises, an analysis of interactions between students of different backgrounds, as well as their interactions with one another. While most participants realised that the foreign milieus were much more heterogeneous than they initially anticipated, they also discussed the similarities and differences between ethnographic work and police routines. The chapter thus addresses key issues about the relationship between practice and theory, interviewing and observing, and distance and closeness. The chapter reflects on the multiple roles played by observers, researchers, police, and their diverse interlocutors, and concludes with some ideas about how to improve joint training courses in the future.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Policing race, ethnicity and culture

Ethnographic perspectives across Europe


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 51 51 18
Full Text Views 0 0 0
PDF Downloads 0 0 0