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Albanian culture and serious crime: Challenging culturalist assumptions among investigating UK police.

Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2023. Albanian culture and serious crime: Challenging culturalist assumptions among investigating UK police. In: Beek, J., Bierschenk, T., Kolloch, A. and Meyer, B., eds. Policing race, ethnicity and culture: ethnographic perspectives across Europe. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

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When social anthropologists are called upon for their ‘cultural expertise’ - usually regarding migrants’ background - in courts of law or by the police, they are set to engage in multiple cultural translations in ways that are not always immediately obvious. Particularly when called as ‘experts’ for an ethnically defined group which is disproportionally identified with crime and violence, such as this chapter demonstrates for the Albanians in the UK, they must disentangle essentialising and stereotypical representations, on the one hand, from the social context, agency, cultural changes and practices, on the other. This contribution argues that prejudicial and culturalist assumptions can divert from the real reasons and concrete motives of ethnically labelled crime. More widely, they might also contribute to reproducing the geo-political or societal structures of exclusion which ultimately cause and perpetuate such crime. The chapter explores whether and how culturalist explanations of crime can influence police investigations and the role of the social anthropologist as ‘cultural translator’ in this.

Item Type:Book Section
Number of Pages:352
Uncontrolled Keywords:Police; Ethnography; Albania; Migration; Crime; Social Anthropology
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:37018
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:06 Jun 2022 11:44
Last Modified:04 Apr 2023 14:24


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