(2011). Men on a mission: masculinity, violence and the self-presentation of policemen in England, c. 1870-1914.
In: Barrie, David and Broomhall, Susan eds.
A History of Police and Masculinities, 1700-2010.
London, UK: Routledge, pp. 123–140.
This chapter analyses the relationship between masculinity and the regulation of violence in the accounts Victorian policemen gave of their working lives. For many policemen the ability to engage with violence and danger was a central part of their work identity and provided them with a sense of mission. Drawing on the tradition of urban exploration many policemen developed a contrast between the detached theories of 'armchair' experts and the intellectual sleuths of fiction and the reality of day to day policework, which necessitated passing between the respectable society and the dangerous underworld. This was only possible because of the masculine courage and physicality of the policeman which provided him with the ability to withstand violence and endure danger.
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