Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

Institute for
Interdisciplinary Research
on Conflict and Violence

The Responce of Police to interethnic Conflicts in different urban contexts

Short description
This ethnographic project completed in 2000 applied certain fundamental assumptions of conflict theory and social ecology to an examination of how and to what extent day-to-day police procedures in Duisburg and Wuppertal vary between districts in which the population consists predominantly of disadvantaged, working-class or second-generation migrant residents and areas with a middle-class population. The research was based primarily on participant observation of police work, especially on patrol, as well as in the neighbourhoods and milieus concerned. Information was also collected from police officers and local civilian actors in the form of biographical and expert interviews.

One of the core findings of the research was that it is not so much formal police measures as the police officers’ informal habitus work that varies considerably depending on differences in the social ecology. In this context, habitus work denotes the everyday expression and symbolical representation of superior police power for the purpose of dealing with the subjects of police action.

respective publications:
Hüttermann, Jörg: (2003) Policing an Ethnically Divided Neighborhood in Germany: Day-to-Day Strategies and Habitus. in: Policing and Society 13, S. 381-397.

Hüttermann, Jörg: (2004) Korporative Polizei, Symbolische Polizei und Street Corner-Polizei: Fallgestützte Hinweise auf die Funktionalität polizeilicher Habitusarbeit. S. 225-251 in: Althoff, Martina/ Becker, Peter/ Löschper, Gabriele/ Stehr, Johannes (Hrsg.): Zwischen Anomie und Inszenierung. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Hüttermann, Jörg: (2000) Polizeialltag und Habitus: Eine sozialökologische Fallstudie In: Soziale Welt 51, S. 7-24.

Hüttermann, Jörg: (2000) Polizeiliche Alltagspraxis im Spannungsfeld von Etablierten und Außenseitern. S. 497-555 in: Heitmeyer, Wilhelm/Anhut, Reimund (Hrsg.): Bedrohte Stadtgesellschaften. Weinheim/München: Juventa.
Herr Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Heitmeyer
Herr Dr. Jörg Hüttermann
Cooperation partners
Institut für interdisziplinäre Konflikt- und Gewaltforschung
Ministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales, NRW