Police-citizen interactions in Nigeria: the ‘ordinary’ aspects

Famosaya, Paul ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3561-2416 (2020) Police-citizen interactions in Nigeria: the ‘ordinary’ aspects. Policing and Society . pp. 1-14.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2020.1798953


Certain types of police actions are beginning to represent ‘the ordinary’ – many of which seem to be simply too commonplace to capture the attention of researchers. Based on an ethnographic experiment conducted over the course of 10 months in Nigeria, this article contributes to existing literature by redirecting attention to what is termed here as ‘the ordinary’ aspects of law enforcement. These ordinaries include verbal exchanges, the use of police slang and typification, and how police officers develop shorthand characterisations when they encounter the ‘bastards’ and the ‘witches’. Further included are other micro-elements such as spitting patterns and mockeries, which seem to be central to the negative interactions and confrontations that dominate everyday policing in Nigeria, and the role played by boredom, humour, and humiliation. Previous studies have rarely examined these aspects and perceive them as insignificant. However, this article demonstrates the significance of these critical ordinaries and elucidates how they damage the legitimacy of the police organisation in Nigeria. As a contribution, this article argues that without sufficient attention to ‘the ordinary’ aspects of law enforcement, the crises of police brutality and negative interactions may not be amended.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Policing and Society
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1043-9463
Departments: Academic Departments > Business, Law, Policing & Social Sciences (BLPSS) > Policing, Criminology & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Christian Stretton
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2020 12:39
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 16:33
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5637


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