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Policing and Social Media

Social Control in an Era of New Media

Christopher J. Schneider - Foreword by David L. Altheide

This book investigates various public aspects of the management, use, and control of social media by police agencies in Canada. This book aims to illustrate the process by which new information technology—namely, social media—and related changes in communication formats have affected the public face of policing and police work. Schneider argues that police use of social media has altered institutional public police practices in a manner that is consistent with the logic of social media platforms. Policing is changing to include new ways of conditioning the public, cultivating self-promotion, and expanding social control. While each case study presented here focuses on a different social media platform or format, his concern is less with the particular format per se, as these will undoubtedly change, and more with developing suitable analytical and methodological approaches to understanding contemporary policing practices on social media sites. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 184Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-3371-3 • Hardback • April 2016 • $80.00 • (£52.95)
978-1-4985-3372-0 • eBook • April 2016 • $76.00 • (£49.95)
Christopher J. Schneider is associate professor of sociology at Brandon University.
Foreword by David L. Altheide
Introduction: Media Logic, Policing, and Social Media
Chapter 1: Media Formats and Police Social Control Practices
Chapter 2: Crime and Society 2.0: Police and Social Networking
Chapter 3: Facebook and the 2011 Vancouver Riot
Chapter 4: Police Presentational Strategies on Twitter
Chapter 5: Police Caught on Camera: Framing the Death of Sammy Yatim
Conclusion: Policing on Social Media
This book is timely and of major importance given the increasingly central role social media now occupies in global policing, governance, and accountability discourses. […] the book should be of urgent interest to a wide student, academic, and professional readership, including those with a background in policing, science and technology studies, communication studies, cultural studies, criminology, and sociology.
Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles

This is an original and important contribution … this book’s theoretical contributions surely will influence future work across disciplines. Policing and Social Media is essential reading for scholars of media and crime … It surely would also appeal to anyone with broad interests in social control, social change, social institutions, and the sociocultural effects of new media.
Symbolic Interaction

Schneider is a recognized academic expert on social media, and . . . he has done the Canadian public a great service in this book, which explores the many ways that Canadian law enforcement bodies are using their own social media presence to try to control public perception of the police and of particular stories . . . Schneider has done a fine job with this study, and anyone in Canada who cares about policing, privacy, civil liberties, and personal freedom should read it.
Vancouver Sun

Written for fellow scholars . . . this evaluation by a Brandon University sociologist of how the social media revolution has affected policing in Canada is surprisingly populist in its framing.
Maclean's Magazine

Policing and Social Media breaks new ground in the analysis of how technology is changing the public face of police work.
Brandon University News

Christopher Schneider’s Policing and Social Media takes the reader deep inside the interplay of social communication and social control. As he carefully documents, new openings for interactive communication are emerging amidst the swirl of today’s social mediabut so are new, insidious forms of surveillance and manipulation. An essential work on contemporary policing and contemporary media, Schneider’s book brings critical social analysis to bear on the most immediate of issues.
Jeff Ferrell, Texas Christian University and University of Kent

Christopher Schneider’s groundbreaking new book takes studies of the complex symbiosis between police and media into the era of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The multiple perspectives of its three case studies reveal how the logic of social media is already transforming police practices, not only creating new challenges for police, but also new openings for social control strategies.
Aaron Doyle, Carleton University

In this cogent and compact book with its innovative "mediated order" approach to concept and method, Chris Schneider helps us understand the game-changing, barely scratched field of social media and social control. In a world awash, or even drowning, in the rising tides of instantaneous, global social media, his case studies lucidly illustrate that the facts do not speak for themselves. Rather, they are representational resources conditioned by their format in the enduring conflicts over meaning and who gets to define reality. Democratic societies do best with the visibility of open communication processes that can bring accountability. This book is most welcome in helping us understand the processes by which the facts and their print, visual and auditory stories are chosen, culled, invented and spun under the dynamic influences of new information technologies.
Gary Marx, author of "Windows into the Soul: Surveillance and Society in an Age of Technology"