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The Long Shadow: The Intergenerational Experience of Policing for Black British Communities

Akintoye, Bisola (2023) The Long Shadow: The Intergenerational Experience of Policing for Black British Communities. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.102495) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:102495)

Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until August 2024.

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The policing experiences of Black Britons embody the complicated experience of being Black in Britain in modern history. Young Black people today disproportionately experience stop and search, but this is not a new phenomenon. The enduring legacy of policing of racially minoritised communities is representative of the place of Black Britons in British society more broadly. Almost 50 years on from ‘Policing the Crisis’ (Hall et al., 1978), the policing of experiences of Black Britons demonstrates how little has changed. This research argues that the policing of Black Britons can only be understood by contextualising within historical and contemporary racialising and criminalising processes affecting the lives of groups depicted as ‘other’. The present study uses 58 semi-structured and unstructured qualitative interviews to explore how Black communities perceive, experience, and respond to policing. Grounding analysis in critical realist critical race theory, it is argued that race remains the crucial mechanism producing the policing experiences of generations of Black British people. The data provides insight into how experiences of policing are transmitted intergenerationally through cultural narratives, conduct norms, and adaptive mechanisms. Taking an intersectional approach to policing, the ways in which race, gender, age, class, and immigration histories mediate policing experiences are also explored. This research also considers the opportunities for social progress embodied in a community of Black Britons seeking to overcome racialised policing through assertions of agency, organisation, and resilience. With a focus on young people, families, and communities in a London suburb, the issues explored here provide insight into the experiences of racialised policing across Britain, and the implications this has for the status, identity and belonging of Black British communities in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Stevens, Alex
Thesis advisor: Young, Tara
Thesis advisor: Silvestri, Marisa
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.102495
Uncontrolled keywords: Race, policing, communities, youth, intergenerationality, qualitative
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2023 08:11 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2023 12:26 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Akintoye, Bisola.

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