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Title: “Keeping the Queen’s Peace”: A Sociomaterial Study of Police and Guns in a “Mangle of Risk”
Authors: Fraher, AL
Kanji, S
Branicki, LJ
Keywords: risk;Pickering's mangle of practice;sociomateriality;policing;high-risk work
Issue Date: 14-May-2024
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Fraher, A.L., Kanji, S. and Branicki, L.J. (2024) '“Keeping the Queen’s Peace”: A Sociomaterial Study of Police and Guns in a “Mangle of Risk”', Information and Organization, 34 (2), 100513, pp. 1 - 12. doi: 10.1016/j.infoandorg.2024.100513.
Abstract: This sociomaterial study analyzes the ways that material agency plays a key role in the organizing dynamics of risky work through a study of the carrying and use of handguns by U.S. and U.K. police officers. Qualitative data (interviews and focus groups) were collected over a three-year period with police (N = 61) in New York, where officers routinely carry guns, and in London, where they typically do not. Police unanimously describe the agentic role non-human artefacts like guns play in: a) framing their cognitive processes, b) influencing their behaviour and decision-making processes, and c) impacting individuals around them. Expanding Pickering's theorization of a mangle of practice, we inductively develop a mangle of risk to explain how human and non-human agency become entangled in risky work contexts, where danger is real and time pressure is high. Understanding these dynamics requires analysis of both frontline police narratives and the prescribed organizational policies, procedures, and routines intended to contain risky situations. Findings reveal that the tools provided to police to do their job both frame and constrain operational capabilities, potentially escalating danger for police, suspects, and the community in a mangle of risk.
Description: Data availability: Data will be made available on request.
ISSN: 1471-7727
Other Identifiers: ORCiD: Shireen Kanji
Appears in Collections:Brunel Business School Embargoed Research Papers

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