Policing and the Poetics of Everyday Life
Policing and the Poetics of Everyday Life takes a unique approach to several abiding issues in criminology and sociology from the standpoint of philosophy and aesthetics. This study by a self-described “philosopher-cop” develops a phenomenological interpretation of police-citizen encounters, revealing the importance of metaphysics in everyday life through a disclosure of the grounding principles that inform the bureaucratic approach to human predicaments.
Jonathan M. Wender, a social philosopher and veteran police sergeant, draws on Martin Heidegger to argue that “praxis is poetry,” interpreting all social action as intentional creation (or “poiesis”) that is intrinsically meaningful. Using an interpretive framework that he calls a “phenomenological aesthetics of encounter,” Wender takes up a number of case studies of police-citizen encounters, including cases of domestic violence, contacts with juveniles, drug-related situations, instances of mental and emotional crisis, and death.