“Visible Signs of a City Out of Control”: Community Policing in New York City

Chesluk, Benjamin
Cultural Anthropology

Institutions of police—community dialogue in New York City assume that communities possess an intuitive and legally sound sense of order and disorder, on which the police can rely for information and support. However, staged dialogues between police and community groups can produce complicated situations of conflict and tension. While the police work to interpellate a friendly, coherent, and controlled community subject, city residents use the police's ideological language of order to offer a critique of the police themselves and of the sweeping neoliberal economic restructuring of the city around them.