Manufacturing affinity: The fortification and expression of ties between prison officers and crime victims

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Since at least the 1960s, scholars have argued that public ceremonies serve important practical functions for groups and social movements: bolstering internal cohesion; expressing messages about power, group identity, etc.; and fortifying intergroup ties. This article analyzes ethnographic data on the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), the very successful and powerful labor union that represents prison officers in California. Specifically, it examines two public gatherings that the CCPOA purportedly organizes on behalf of crime victims. During these events, the CCPOA manufactures affinity with its main allies, punitive crime victims' groups which the union helped create, and communicates to various audiences that prison officers and crime victims have a natural affinity and are natural allies. By demonstrating that the CCPOA uses these events to fabricate (make "real") ties between itself and crime victims, this article contributes to our understanding of the practical uses of public ceremonies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-777
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

Keywords

  • Ceremonies
  • Politics
  • Prison
  • Unions
  • Victims

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