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NÄR VÅLD FÖRSTÅS SOM LEGITIMT.: En maktanalys av polisvåldets performativitet utifrån erfarenheter hos våldsutsatta.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Violence is put in a specific context when the police are the perpetrator of violence rendering violence possibly legitimate through sovereignty. The possibility of legitimization of police violence raises important questions of how such violence is legitimized and how resistance is conceived of and defined. I have interviewed seven people in Sweden from different backgrounds, all of whom share the experience of having been subjugated to police violence, including threats, harassments and physical violence.This paper analyzes the performativity of police violence through the relations between police violence, power, sovereignty, subjectstatus and resistance, in order to understand how police violence is being legitimized and to understand its consequenses with respect to those subjugated to it. I’ve also analyzed if this violence is being politicized and, in that case, how politicization is made possible. Performativity implies an understanding where those relations aswell as understandings of it are framing which actions are made possible and rendered real while those very actions themselves also animates those understandings. Those framings are to be understood as neither unambiguous nor ever-lasting.In order to analyze power relations considerate of different backgrounds and experiences where the relationship between the police and those who are subjected to police violence aren’t formulated in political terms I’ve chosen to analyze power relations through subjectstatus and sovereignty. Subjectstatus signifies to which extent we are acknowledged as subjects and thus granted raison d’être through such status. Sovereignty is understood as the power structure giving meaning to the police actions of violence. Thus, I am not analyzing structures of power or identity such as class and gender. Instead I analyze to what extent we are acknowledged as subjects through the concept of subjectstatus where for instance gender and class may be included.The perception of yourself through others is of significance for the risk of being subjected to police violence where the very experience of being violated carry consequences for how we are perceived. Legitimized police violence in itself denies victimstatus to those being violated, thus explaining why the victims of police violence are seldom seen as subjugated to violence. The possibility of police violence being rendered legitimate are materialized through sovereignty where police violence can be understood as a way of outlining the boundaries through which sovereignty acknowledges some subjects the freedom from violence in ambiguous ways.A subject wielding resistance can be conceived of as being in a subject-position, rendering police violence legitimate. The very acts of police violence carry the power to define what is to be understood as resistance. Such subject-positions are advantageous to the police since they entail the possibility of rendering police violence legitimate when someone who is violated by the police can be construed as wielding resistance after the violations. Thus police violence and sovereignty entail their own prerequisites for being rendered real. When the framings of police violence are being materialized through that very violence they can be understood as hegemonic, making police violence hard to politicize.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 81 p.
Keyword [en]
Police violence, subjectsstatus, sovereignty, normative violence, resistance, politicization, power relations, performativity
National Category
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57983OAI: diva2:546127
Social and Behavioural Science, Law

Masteruppsats i genusvetenskap

Available from: 2013-03-19 Created: 2012-08-22 Last updated: 2013-03-19Bibliographically approved

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Gabriella Seger masteruppsats(568 kB)559 downloads
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