Scenes from the Psychic Life of Policing
Sheds light on the emotional dynamics behind policing with an eye toward its abolition.
Uniform Feelings explores emotions and U.S. policing. Utilizing a mix of clinical case studies, autotheory, and ethnographic research, Jessi Lee Jackson examines the emotional and psychological forces that shape U.S. police power. She begins with her work as a psychotherapist working across the spectrum of relationships to policing, and then turns to interrogate carceral psychology—the involvement of her profession in ongoing state violence. The book then shifts toward trainings, museums, and memorials that illuminate the psychic life of policing, and the possibility for its transformation.
Within her investigation of clinical practice, Jackson offers a critique of contemporary police psychology, which constructs police as vulnerable heroes in need of protection and normalizes a celebration of gun culture. She also explores the police claim of premature death for officers alongside the creation of premature death for those targeted by policing. Jackson then turns to police psychology's participation in training and consulting with police departments, highlighting that these efforts do not serve to restrain police power, but to legitimate it. In the final section of the book, Jackson explores fantasies and mourning processes around policing at police memorials and museums, rapidly expanding sites where public feelings and state violence collide.
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