Leon Hernandez, I. A. (2019). Embodying experiences of (in)security : exploring ethnic minority youth’s encounters with the police and policing practices in Oslo. Master thesis. Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås

Published on 10/01/2020

The police are a state institution with the power to coerce and maintain “order” within a society so that individuals feel safe. The moment in which an induvial encounter the police, is the moment in which the individual makes contact with the state. This encounter is also the moment that the state’s ability, embodied by a police officer, to coerce is put to the test. A practice in which this situation happens is through the exercise of police stops. This policing practice nevertheless is not equally applied across all inhabitants. Studies have showcased that this practice is disproportionally applied to ethnic minority groups than the rest of the majority of a society, as ethnic minority groups are depicted as a “social problem”. This disproportionate practice raises the question of safety for who and at whose expense is being “order” practiced and materialized within a society. Drawing from feminists’ perspectives within International Relations and applying interpretive research, in this thesis I explore the experiences of ethnic minority youth’s encounters with the police and policing practices in Oslo. How do their embodied experiences of unwarranted police stops influence how they understand (in)security and how do their understandings of these experiences contribute to our understanding (in)security? By attempting to understand, what security is, what violence is and how it manifests, and the role of the body in these encounters and policing practice, I argue that order/security is practiced on bodies that exist within specific discourses, such as the foreign/Norwegian dichotomy, and that (in)security is experienced as a discursive contextual practice.

Langton, L., & Durose, M. R. (2013). Police behavior during traffic and street stops, 2011. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Read previous

Miller, J., Bland, N., & Quinton, P. (2001). A Challenge for Police-Community Relations: Rethinking Stop and Search in England and Wales. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 9(1), 71-93.

Read next