Department of Sociology

The blog of the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey

Corroding independence and universality: the white paper on the BBC

By Paul Hodkinson

When the government’s white paper on the BBC was published yesterday, it was widely reported as a government climb-down and more notable for what was not changing than what was. The collective feeling seemed to be that the corporation had got away lightly, having retained its licence fee, avoided having the majority of its board appointed by government and escaped invasive restrictions on the scheduling of prime-time shows, for example. While such a reaction may be justified to a point there is a danger that sweeping changes that promise to fundamentally transform the BBC’s standing pass through largely unchallenged on the basis that things could have been worse. Might the expectations of an all-out assault raised by prior briefings now be enabling a somewhat less spectacular erosion of the corporation to proceed with minimal challenge?

It is easy to see why the news that government would not, after all, have the power to appoint the majority of the board that directly runs the BBC came as a relief to the corporation’s supporters. Yet, the notion that ministers will nevertheless be appointing a substantial proportion of this new ‘joint-board’ represents a historic breach of the corporation’s operational independence. Ever since its establishment as a non-commercial corporation, operation ‘at arms-length’ from ministers was assured by strict separation between the corporation’s Board of Governors (later BBC Trust) which was responsible for oversight, and the group who directed and ran the corporation at operational level. The prospect of government appointments to the latter suggests unprecedented influence on the priorities, strategies and every day running of the organisation. The BBC is further weakened, meanwhile, by the transfer of responsibility for oversight/regulation to Ofcom, a body which, unlike the BBC Trust, has responsibilities across the media sphere and does not necessarily have the best interests of the corporation at its heart.

A further feature of the white paper is the amendment of the BBC’s mission statement as follows: “To act in the public interest, serving all audiences with impartial, high-quality, and distinctive media content and services that inform, educate and entertain.” The explicit emphasis here on distinctiveness may, at first glance, seem commensurate with long-established purposes of public service broadcasting. And specific stipulations about provision for minorities are to be welcomed for a corporation whose level of popularity with many such groups is not what it should be.

Yet placing such prominent emphasis on distinctiveness – alongside ‘quality’ (defined by whom?) – at the heart of the BBC’s raison d’être risks steering it towards becoming a niche organisation, something that would undermine another principle at the heart of the corporation’s history – that of universality, or the notion that the BBC must be for all of us. This connects to a long-standing argument about the purpose of the corporation. Should it maximise popular appeal and engagement or should it refrain from such competition and provide only what other providers do not? In response, I would advocate here Michael Tracey’s (1998) suggestion that public service broadcasters should seek to make what’s popular high in quality and what’s high in quality popular. The danger with the current proposals, however, is that the importance of popularity – and with it the fundamental notion that the BBC is for everyone – may become fatally undermined as the corporation gradually becomes more oriented to middle-class understandings of quality and specialist content and services.

Popular appeal, meanwhile, may also be a casualty of the requirement to reveal the salaries of top BBC talent. Campaigned for by much of the UK press, this move is justified through recourse to notions of transparency to the public, whose licence fees pay for the corporation and its talent. The problem, though, is that the BBC may find itself at a significant competitive disadvantage with respect to its ability to attract the stars that help it engage with large proportions of the public. Will star presenters and others want to work for the corporation, as opposed to a commercial rival if, as a consequence of doing so, they find themselves pilloried in the press for how much they earn? Will press and public pressure make it impossible for the BBC to pay the kinds of salaries needed to attract such talent in the first place? Notwithstanding the arguments in favour of such transparency, it is difficult to see how such a move helps the corporation to maintain its standing and popularity.

Time will tell, of course, how great or rapid an impact such changes will ultimately have when put into practice. The concern expressed here, though, is that the level of scrutiny and critique of measures that fundamentally challenge core historic principles of the corporation is not as great as it could and should be amidst the collective feeling that the BBC got off lightly.

 

Please note: Blog entries reflect the personal views of contributors and are not moderated or edited before publication. However, we may make subsequent amendments to correct errors or inaccuracies.

Are we any nearer to a gendered epidemiology of men’s mental health?

By Rob Meadows

If we are to begin to understand men’s mental health more fully, we need to move away from the idea that all men are the same. Different groups of men are at risk of different mental health problems at different points in the life-course. Older men, for example, are at greater risk of isolation, bereavement and loss (Meadows and Davidson 2006; Davidson and Meadows 2010). This loss, which can include loss of income and status, can make older men more vulnerable to mental ill health. Other vulnerable groups of men include men from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and men in the criminal justice system. With respect to men in the criminal justice system, it is estimated that at least 10% of prisoners have an acute psychotic disorder on entry to prison, with a further 61% reporting a personality disorder (Stewart, 2008). For others, the experience of prison itself can lead to the development of mental problems including depression and anxiety (Joint Committee on Human Rights, 2004), with as many as 90% of prisoners reporting mental health problems prior to release (Singleton et al., 1998; Department of Health, 2001). We could go on.

But at the same time as recognising that men are different we need to keep an eye on shared factors; such as masculinities, power and structural dynamics. Put another way, we need to consider fixed types and fluidities and this poses significant methodological problems. In 2011 White and Richardson called for a ‘gendered epidemiology’, arguing that “a key factor in advancing our understanding of men’s health is in the development of gendered epidemiology, such that we begin to unravel how men’s health practices can be mechanisms for ‘doing gender’, thereby legitimating exploration of the man’s perspective” (2011: 407). For me (and others) such a gendered epidemiology needs to employ longitudinal data and allow for the discussion of:

  1. Age/biography/life course effects – As Public Health England identify, the life course perspective investigates both accumulated risk across the life course as well as how different stages can create or exacerbate health issues.
  2. Cohort effects – Suggesting a strong cohort effect (where generations differ from one another), a Samaritans (2012) report states: “Men currently in their mid-years are the ‘buffer’ generation – caught between the traditional silent, strong, austere masculinity of their fathers and the more progressive, open and individualistic generation of their sons. They do not know which of these ways of life and masculine cultures to follow”
  3. Period effects – Periods of austerity and recession are also likely to widen social inequalities in mental health and hit vulnerable groups the hardest. Men, in particular, are at increased risk of mental health problems and premature death due to suicide and alcohol related problems (Wahlbeck and McDaid 2012).

I am not sure how far we have travelled towards this gendered epidemiology or indeed whether we are even still talking about it.   Hopefully we can use the upcoming mental health awareness week and men’s health week to reflect on both substantive and methodological issues. And if anyone is interested in operationalising ‘recovery’ in mental health, do come along to Surrey in July

http://www.surrey.ac.uk/sociology/research/researchgroups/sociologyofsleep/conferences/

 

References

  • Davidson, K. and Meadows, R. (2010) Older men’s health: the role of marital status and masculinities in B. Gough and S. Robertson, (eds) Men, Masculinities and Health: Critical Perspectives. London, Palgrave.
  • Department of Health, (2001) Changing the outlook. London: Department of Health & HM Prison Service.
  • Joint Committee on Human Rights (2004) Joint deaths in custody: Third report of session 2004-05. London: House of Lords / House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights.
  • Meadows, R and Davidson, K (2006) Maintaining Manliness in later life: Hegemonic masculinities and emphasized femininities in T. Calasanti and K. Slevin (eds) Age Matters: Realigning Feminist Thinking, London, Routledge, pages 295-312
  • Samaritans (2012) Men and Suicide: why it’s a social issue. Stirling http://www.samaritans.org/sites/default/files/kcfinder/files/Samaritans_Men_and_Suicide_Report_web.pdf
  • Singleton, N., Meltzer, H. and Gatward, R. (1998) Psychiatric morbidity among prisoners in England and Wales. London: Office for National Statistics.
  • Stewart, D. (2008) The problems and needs of newly sentenced prisoners: results from a national survey. Ministry of Justice
  • Wahlbeck, K. and McDaid, D. (2012). Actions to alleviate the mental health impact of the economic crisis. World Psychiatry, 11(3), 139-145.
  • White, A. and N. Richardson. “Gendered epidemiology: making men’s health visible in epidemiological research.” Public Health7 (2011): 407-410.

 

Please note: Blog entries reflect the personal views of contributors and are not moderated or edited before publication. However, we may make subsequent amendments to correct errors or inaccuracies.

Preventing Disability Hate Crime: Learning the Lessons from Tragedy

By Jon Garland

The tragic case of the murder of Angela Wrightson in Hartlepool in 2014 generated a great deal of media coverage in the spring of 2016 when the trial of those accused of killing her finally came to court. Wrightson, a 39 year-old with alcohol dependency issues, was subject to a brutal and sustained attack from two teenage girls who were subsequently convicted of her murder and given 15-year custodial sentences. However, while the media – and especially the tabloids – focused on the two girls, luridly describing them as ‘she-devils’ (Mirror, 08/04/16) and ‘evil Snapchat killers’ (Sun, 08/04/16) in a similar way to the public demonization of the very young killers of James Bulger over 20 years before, what passed with little comment was how similar the circumstances surrounding the victim’s life and death were to other cases that have occurred in the relatively recent past, when those with mental health issues living on their own have been subject to exploitation, assault and murder.

The phenomenon of the abuse of those in vulnerable situations by those who’re supposedly their friends has (perhaps erroneously) been described as ‘mate crime’ as a way of highlighting that it is a form of hate crime perpetrated by those in the victim’s social circle. The exploitation of those with mental ill-health living on their own has been referred to by criminologists as ‘cuckooing’, a form of crime which is receiving increased academic attention. Angela Wrightson, who was well-known to social services and had spent time in prison, was small in stature and widely described in the media as ‘vulnerable’ and a ‘lost soul’. She apparently led a chaotic lifestyle, often being involved in drunken altercations and being found unconscious in the street. During the trial of her murderers it emerged that local youths would often congregate inside her house, and she would buy them cigarettes and alcohol which they would then share with her. Money and mobile phones were stolen from her, and among those who’d frequently visited her previously were the two that killed her.

And yet prior to this sad case there have been a number of similar ones that have featured the targeting of those living independently and in vulnerable situations for criminal exploitation and physical and verbal harassment. Keith Philpott (2005), Raymond Atherton (2006) and Michael Gilbert (2009) were all harrowing examples of those with mental health issues, learning difficulties or whom were described as ‘vulnerable’ who were murdered in similar circumstances to Wrighton’s. All of these events could arguably have been prevented if those agencies who should have been protecting them from abuse had recognised the criminal nature of what was occurring at an early stage, and intervened then.

There is, however, some controversy surrounding the use of the term ‘vulnerable’ to describe those with physical disabilities or mental ill-health. For many of those involved in the disability rights movement, labelling those with disabilities as ‘vulnerable’ is unacceptable as such a word brings with it connotations of weakness and lack of individual agency. While these concerns are acknowledged here it is undoubtedly true that those like Philpott, Atherton, Gilbert and Wrightson, socially isolated and with mental and physical health and alcohol dependency issues, are in very vulnerable situations and at a heightened risk of exploitation and assault. I also feel that the targeting of those in these circumstances should be recognised for what it is – a disability hate crime – and that criminal justice (and other) agencies should respond to them as such. Early and decisive intervention in these cases can prevent them from spiralling into physical violence that results in the kinds of terrible cases like Wrightson’s. However, this requires agencies to be able to recognise the true nature of what is going on when the harassment and abuse may be more ‘subtle’ and less obvious, and not simply dismiss it as ‘anti-social behaviour’ or a ‘neighbour dispute’ which isn’t related to the systematic targeting of those in vulnerable situations. If they can do this then the lessons learned from the death of Angela Wrightson may help to prevent similar tragic events in the future.

 

Please note: Blog entries reflect the personal views of contributors and are not moderated or edited before publication. However, we may make subsequent amendments to correct errors or inaccuracies.

Tools, tools everywhere, and not a hammer in sight!

By Pete Barbrook-Johnson (né Johnson)

Members of the Sociology department, alongside colleagues from across the University, have been working on the ERIE project for the past six years. One of the main outputs of the project is the development of a suite of software tools designed to help anyone and everyone make decisions and think strategically. The tools have been designed with government, industry and charity sector activities in mind, but they can be applied to a very wide range of topics, from managing your health and exercise, to understanding how we might better collaborate with colleagues across the University, and even bringing together students to share and build knowledge.

Have a look, get involved…

You can read about and start using these tools at SteerPlex.org.uk. I encourage all readers to take a look, and have a quick think about how one or more of the tools could be helpful for you, whether you are a researcher, teacher, student, work in government, industry or the charity sector, or anywhere else! The tools are not yet final products with jazzy graphics, but are prototypes. We are keen to develop them, and are open to pilot studies and further testing. Get in touch if you are interested.

There are nine tools in total; those most easily applied to a wide range of topics include: Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping and the Complex Control Tool, which help you to construct and analyse simple ‘fuzzy’ causal models of a topic with others. This is a powerful way to engage people and share knowledge. Spatial Networks, which helps you to include spatial considerations when constructing network graphs. There are two examples of agent-based modelling, which can help you formalise your knowledge of a topic, and be used to build simulations to improve understanding of its workings. There is also an example of a Serious Game (think of a flight simulator for decision-making), to help us ‘play’ through scenarios that we have designed with others, as they react to our decisions.

Complexity Science and participatory approaches…

Complexity Science and a participatory approach to research and decision-making underpin all the tools’ design. Complexity Science deals with ‘systems’ made up of many interacting components. Many things may be referred to as a ‘system’. A city, an industrial sector, the whole economy, and societies are potential examples of systems. The components in a system might be people, organisations such as businesses and government, or the physical environment. A system becomes complex, rather than complicated, when there are many interactions between the different components in the system, and perhaps there are many different types of components. These interactions, and the influences they have, make the system difficult to understand, and make the system exhibit certain behaviours such as tipping points. A car engine is complicated, but not complex, because we understand it and can predict its behaviour accurately; whereas an economy is complex because we cannot reliably predict its overall behaviour. Complexity Science has developed over the last fifty years or so to help with studying and understanding complex systems.

A decision process may be participatory if those that are affected by, and implement, that decision are included in the decision making. Research may be participatory if it uses the knowledge of those who ‘live’ the topic being researched. Workshops and meetings are often used to bring people together in participatory processes.

Changing our way of thinking…

Acknowledging and embracing the complexity of the real-world and using a participatory approach are things that Sociology does well already. But other disciplines, and many policy-making processes, have historically done this less well. Some people have also suggested that even when others ‘talk a good game’ about complexity and participation, it is often little more than lip service, and decision-makers may still fall back on lazy or simplistic ways of thinking and exclude key people from decisions.

Hopefully, efforts such as the ERIE project and its toolkit help to push back against this common inclination to look at the world in simplistic ways, and assume we know best. I certainly hope SteerPlex.org.uk can help you to generate an improved understanding of the complexity of topics pertinent to you, and to engage those to whom it is also important.

 

 

Contact Pete at mailto:p.barbrook-johnson@surrey.ac.uk

Pete is on Twitter @bapeterj

 

Please note: Blog entries reflect the personal views of contributors and are not moderated or edited before publication. However, we may make subsequent amendments to correct errors or inaccuracies.

 

1 in 5 Muslims…

By Victoria Redclift

#1 in 5 Muslims….get asked if they shower with their hijab on
#1 in 5 Muslims….pray that when they open a margarine tub, there will be margarine in there and not curry
#1 in 5 Muslims….look like Zayn Malik, to their mums.

The Sun’s controversial headline on the 23rd November, claiming that one in five British Muslims had sympathy with Jihadis, set social media alight. Twitter users took up the 1 in 5 Muslims hashtag to mock the Sun and its dodgy survey data. Meanwhile IPSO, the newspaper regulator, received a record number of complaints. The Sun’s polling company Survation had asked a sample of 1000 people with Muslim-sounding names how much sympathy they had with young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria. Quite apart from any concerns we might have with the poll’s sampling methods, there are various factions fighting in Syria, including forces dedicated to resisting Isis. Which means the poll tells us nothing about the number of people who have “sympathy for jihadis”. But the Sun isn’t interested in such details. As it happens, Survation’s March poll asked identical questions of a ‘non-Muslim sample’. The resulting data, says Patrick Brione of Survation, suggest that “attitudes held by the Muslim and non-Muslim populations are not that different.” But, again, the Sun isn’t interested. It is much more interested in cherry-picking data for the story it wants to tell. This story, alongside a picture of a balaclava-clad, knife-wielding ‘Jihadi John’, is just one part of the newspaper’s campaign to convince its readership that Muslims are on the fence about terrorism. A week earlier (17th November) the paper’s leading article began by suggesting that Muslims had “done too little in public to express solidarity with the victims in Paris and the civilised, tolerant democracies in which they live.”

All of this is part of a much wider discourse in which the loyalty of British Muslims is in question. And, in the wake of the Paris attacks, and the recent San Bernadino shooting in the US, it has particularly potent effect. But is it justified to demand that Muslims condemn terrorism? As Dalia Mogahed, research director at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, cogently explained on MSNBC at the end of November “condoning the killing of civilians is, to me, about the most monstrous thing you can to do. And to be suspected of doing something so monstrous, simply because of your faith, seems very unfair”. She noted that, according to FBI data, the majority of domestic terror attacks in the United States are actually committed by white, male Christians. “When those things occur, we don’t suspect other people who share their faith and ethnicity of condoning them. We assume that these things outrage them just as much as they do anyone else. And we have to afford this same assumption of innocence to Muslims”. But, it seems, this is not always the case.

In the aftermath of the horrendous 13th November attacks, and alongside the predictable securitisation response which calls for air strikes and ramped up border control, the equally predictable retaliatory targeting of Muslims began almost immediately. In Marseilles a Muslim woman was punched in the face and attached with the box cutter. In Givors a woman was kicked over and crushed by a shopping trolly. In Pontivy a man was beaten into a coma and in the north of France a man was shot.

Across the pond, in the Republican battle for the presidential primary, political capital is being made out this spike in anti-Muslim sentiment. Donald Trump has suggested that all Muslims should register in a US database, and called for the families of terrorists to be killed, while Ben Carson has likened Syrian refugees to rabid dogs who might turn terrorist at any time. Which shows just how far we have fallen. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington issued a statement saying it “has received more reports about acts of Islamophobic discrimination, intimidation, threats, and violence targeting American Muslims (or those perceived to be Muslim) and Islamic institutions in the past week and a half than during any other limited period of time since the 9/11 terror attacks”.

In the UK too Muslims are once again at the front line. According to TellMAMA, a project recording and measuring anti-Muslim incidents in the UK, hate crime quadrupled in the week after the Paris attacks. Instead of an assumption of innocence, the presumption of guilt by association is evidence of a structural racism which is sustained by and sustains the ‘War on Terror’.

How does this affect the political identities of Muslim populations in Europe and the US? How does it affect experiences of citizenship which are local, national and transnational? With support from the Phillip Leverhulme Prize I recently began a research project which develops the concept of ‘transnational political space’ to consider the relationship between local and transnational citizenship experiences among Bangladesh-origin Muslims in London and Los Angeles. In social science debate ‘transnational citizenship’ (Baubock, 1994; Fox, 2005) has been conceptualised to reflect the processes through which political identity transcends the nation-state (Basch et al, 1994). However, the ways in which a political identity that crosses borders informs a political identity within borders has received little attention. How are processes of transnational political engagement mediated by the national context of settlement? How do they inform political engagement in that national context? Does transnational political subjectivity mitigate/aggravate political exclusion at the national level? Does it inhibit/enhance the creation of local ‘political space’? Popular discourse frequently suggests that transnational ties represent an impediment to the formation of local identifications; a danger to citizenship and integration in countries of settlement. But there is little research to support this claim. Similarly interest in Muslim transnational relations in particular too often focuses on the characteristics of the population, or the characteristics of Islamic culture, in a way that overlooks “the role of social and political circumstances in shaping how people make sense of the world and then act upon it” (Kundnani, 2014, p.10).

This project recognises that transnational practices take place in local settings; shaped by the particular opportunities and constraints present in different localities (Guarnizo and Smith, 1998; Mahler, 1998). It considers how different histories of settlement, different population profiles (in terms of ethnic concentration, age, gender, socio-economic background, length of residence and naturalization status), and different local conditions/constraints, affect the political identities possible in London and L.A. It will examine how these local political identities influence processes of transnational engagement, and consider how transnational identities and relationships in turn inform local political subjectivity. In the context of the on-going ‘War on Terror’, and an increasing political and media focus on a security threat that is ‘home grown’, the transnational practices of British Muslims have gained attention. This has fed into a range of recent policy proposals which bring the constitutionally protected activities of a large number of people under increasing surveillance (Kundnani, 2014). In popular debate and the practice of public policy, then, transnational ties may affect local experiences of citizenship but more research is needed to understand how transnational activity is situated in local social, cultural and political milieu. The 1 in 5 Muslims hashtag had a serious message:

#1 in 5 Muslims….get through airport security without being selected for a search
#1 in 5 Muslims….are French, if they score. Otherwise they’re Arab.
#1 in 5 Muslims….have experienced Islamaphobia. I know I did a poll. Trust me.

Victoria Redclift’s Phillip Leverhulme Prize project ‘From Brick Lane to Little Bangladesh: Transnational political space in London and Los Angeles’ began in October 2015 and will run for a period of three years.

 

Please note: Blog entries reflect the personal views of contributors and are not moderated or edited before publication. However, we may make subsequent amendments to correct errors or inaccuracies.

The police service and social media

By Karen Bullock

As someone who makes little use of social media – and certainly never Tweets – it is perhaps somewhat ironic that I have recently found myself doing research on the police use of social media. This stems from a wider interest in the nature of police engagement with citizens and communities. In light of various crises of legitimacy, police-citizen engagement has been promoted over many years. However, citizen participation has been difficult to establish and maintain. Further, those who do participate are usually white, middle-class members of the ‘establishment’ and traditional engagement meetings often function to broadcast information rather than to stimulate debate and dialogue. In contrast, reflecting its open and interactive nature, there has been optimism that social media will facilitate wide participation and transform the communicative practices of the public police in England and Wales. It has been hoped that open and collaborative networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchap along with Wikies and the blogosphere will facilitate dialogue and debate between citizens and police institutions. Indeed, catapulting engagement from the physical to the virtual, social media has been adopted by many contemporary police leaders and by policing teams with the explicit aim of fostering relationships and in so doing facilitating citizen participation. Less is documented, however, about whether social media can achieve these aims, which is where my research comes in.

I found that whilst many of the rhetorical devises present in policy and academic discourses regarding the mooted benefits of using social media were present in the accounts of officers and staff who participated in my study, it was less clear that benefits were translated in to practice. Certainly social media can generate large audiences but it is much less clear that it has diversified the nature of that audience. In addition, rather than stimulate debate, I found that much output is one-way and rarely involves collaborative problem-solving between constabularies and citizens. In short, my research suggested that it is unclear whether the potential of social media to promote citizen participation and transform communicative practices will be realised in practice. My argument is that the transformative potential of social media has been shaped by the ways that officers and staff interpret the technology and incorporate it into their day-to-day routines. Organisational, technological and cultural dynamics come together to affect the nature of communicative practices on social media and this can mute its potential. For example, through actively engaging with social media and promoting its use or otherwise, the attitude and behaviour of chief officers can act to facilitate or mute officer use of social media. Communications teams, who can be nervous about losing control of corporate messages, exert more or less control of officer and staff use of social media. Too much control, I argue, stymies forms of communication which are engaging and responsive to citizens. Training for officers and staff who use, or want to use, social media is neither always provided nor of good quality and guidance is quite general. The result of this is that communication on social media is generally directed by ‘common sense’ and learnt over time by trial and error. Born of its novelty in the policing arena, officers and staff can be nervous of social media. Officers are used to formal forms of communication which rubs up against the informal communications styles that social media call for. Police ICT is under resourced and that the introduction of social media platforms – which are generally free, open and require light programming – is at odds with established cultures of ICT development which tend to be cautions, security conscious and risk adverse. Twitter, the dominant platform used by police officers and staff, supports a structure for dialogue and deliberation but primarily lends itself to use as a broadcasting tool (for sharing press releases, publicizing meetings, sending crime prevention advice) rather than serious deliberation.

What then does all of this mean for the role that social media might play in promoting police-community engagement? I would suggest that those who embrace bold visions that social media will generate high-level debate and deliberation between constabularies and citizens and in so doing enrich decision making, ensure the priorities for officers and staff are oriented around those of citizens and enable citizens to hold constabularies to account will most likely be disappointed. Those who see the potential of social media in more modest terms – to raise awareness, to impart information and advice, to alert citizens to other ways to engage with officers on and off line – might have more reason to be optimistic. Come what way, going beyond broadcasting will require commitment and wherewithal from constabularies. To use social media to more effectively and to promote citizen participation constabularies will need to recognise and respond to the organisational, individual and cultural dynamics which shape its use. Without changes to the attitudes of chief officers and communications teams, investment in training and guidance and ICT and shifts in cultural standpoints, we are unlikely to see a move towards meaningful citizen participation in public policing using social media. At the time of writing, social media seems to be much more to do with selling the police organisation rather than buying in to the ideal of citizen participation. To transform communicative practices this dynamic will have to be reversed.

 

Please note: Blog entries reflect the personal views of contributors and are not moderated or edited before publication. However, we may make subsequent amendments to correct errors or inaccuracies.

 

1 2 3 4 5 10