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Backstage with “Cops”: the dramaturgical reification of police subculture in American crime “info‐tainment”

Michael Hallett (Middle Tennessee State University)
Dennis Powell (Middle Tennessee State University)

American Journal of Police

ISSN: 0735-8547

Article publication date: 1 April 1995

Abstract

Examines the meanings of television programs for actor/police officers who acted in “reality TV” programs. Police engage in “legitimation work” to enhance public relations and achieve favorable publicity. The media is increasingly prominent in areas where previously it was unseen. Presents results of a questionnaire in which police actors give mixed reactions to the usefulness of infotainment. Concludes that police participation in the production of infotainment subverts the goal of promoting “realistic” public expectations of police work.

Keywords

Citation

Hallett, M. and Powell, D. (1995), "Backstage with “Cops”: the dramaturgical reification of police subculture in American crime “info‐tainment”", American Journal of Police, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 101-129. https://doi.org/10.1108/07358549510799116

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1995, MCB UP Limited