Faculty Seminar Series: Peter K Manning

Time: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Location: Churchill Hall 301

The focus of this presentation is the data gathering procedures and reasoning used in an on-going study of policing in Ireland. It develops, through a diagram, the classic work on informant-gathering by Wright and Decker (1994). This fieldwork functions as a part of an organizational ethnography, thus the composition of the ensemble of informants is important. The two organizations studied, the PSNI and the Garda, are secretive, quasi-democratic organizations in the midst of transformation to democratic policing.  They are guarded and almost impossible to access. They are analogous to deviant populations in that sense. The interviews are not a “sample” in the same sense that “snowball” or “convenience” clusters of informants are not “samples.” I argue that the sequence and the network of people interviewed reflect the problem of studying democratic policing and bear on the extended case method of inference and theorizing.

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