Dramaturgy as police culture - front stage/backstage as sub consciousness and surrealism

Dramaturgy as police culture - front stage/backstage as sub consciousness and surrealism
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officers act..........before an audience of their peers.

Now this is deep Mick and very topical dare I say, at the moment. I've been trying to think of a comment that is condensed, proactive and unbiased.....it's difficult. Regarding the content, your sketch is really good, your figures are always animated and well done. Regarding the subject matter, I would imagine that most people wouldn't understand the backstage metaphor.....I do, and it is the individuals that don't, won't or can't take take part in this arena that have their own sub conscious issues. I form my own judgments and opinions about front stage issues, by the personal experiences in my own career...some of them wouldn't make pretty reading. Could the canteen become the canvas, as the arena for backstage issues?

Thanks Fiona. Yes, it's probably inappropriate for a 'leisure' site and I won't be making a habit of it, although, how can we preclude Dali from such a wonderful site and it's wonderful artists? I know exactly what you mean again, those professions aren't for the feintharted or anyone wishing kisses to be blown in their direction. Unpleasant indeed but sometimes very satisfying. The canteen is always the canvas for getting nearer to the truth of the matter and what is said there doesn't materialise into action on the streets probably due to law, policy and procedure, and latterly the searching eye of CCTV. For me, we will never know whether someone genuinely means what he/she says backstage but I prefer to believe they do mean it. Life is a duality. So surreal and Dalish.

Well guys, this is too deep for me. I kind of grasp a bit but each bit I grasp, another flies out my head, if you know what I mean. So I will just comment on the sketches Mick and say that I enjoy them, as I do all your work. As an afterthought, and because I adore fabric, I wonder what the curtains are made of - they look good!

The curtains are a bit moth-eaten and heavy with dust Adele but they are real velvet.

I am not surprised Mick - thought they were velvet. Beautiful!

Oh dear, a lot to tKe in on Sunday morning Michael! Great sketch though.

Ps, Take I meant . Still I wouldn't have their job!

Thanks Carole. You're right, too serious. High art on a Sunday should be left to 'Fake or Fortune' BBC 1 9pm tonight. Have you got one on the wall?

I get it. There is never anything too deep for artists in my opinion! Just look at the variety of work at the moment! Just look at your previous posting which is excellent. Lots of layers.

Thanks Gudrun. You're an intellectual.

Greit Michael!

Interesting. At one stage of my career I used to work closely with Social workers commission foster care for the more demanding children/young people. We all needed to destress by having a laugh, but there was very little opportunity for it. Hence high rates of sickness, depression etc - all signs of inverted anger. Some people never let go and were completely PC all the time. Sad. However I opted to retire early - there is a limit to how many horror stories you can cope with and maintain you sanity and sense of well being. I have every sympathy with those at the sharp end.

All noted Linda. I understand exactly what you mean. Some people thrive on pressure and others have a low threshold before it begins to give bats in the bellfry. I recall several officers who suffered mental distress of various kinds, including myself. All the officers I knew were detective officers from DCs up to DSupts.

Hang on Studio Wall
06/08/2016
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Watercolour. Dramaturgy is a sociological perspective used to describe social interaction in everyday life (Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, 1959). Here theatre, backstage and front stage are metaphors for life. Front stage and backstage behaviour are different. PAJ Waddington who carried out research observing police officers in the canteen at New Scotland Yard relaxing after their shift. Police sub-culture is often portrayed as a pervasive, malign and potent influence on the behaviour of officers, e.g. racist as part of their culture. But Waddington found that what occurs in the canteen is expressive talk designed to give purpose and meaning to inherently problematic occupational experience. Derogatory talk was used in the canteen but it was a means of calming down after stressful interactions on the street and had not relation to behaviour on the street. The canteen is an arena of action separate from the street, where in contrast to the latter officers act

About the Artist
Michael McManus

I was born in 1946. In the 1960s and part of the 70s I was an airman in the Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm. I joined Durham Constabulary in 1971. In 1999 I retired from policing and began teaching sociology and criminology at Durham University with emphasis on policing and researching crime. I've just…

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