The Power of Legitimate Naming

Posted: 16 Jul 2008

See all articles by Ian Loader

Ian Loader

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Aogn Mulcahy*

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2001


In Part I of this paper (Loader and Mulcahy 2001) we set out to trace the coming to prominence since 1945 of an elite police voice with a significant symbolic power to represent and name social problems. In so doing, we charted the transition of chief officers from powerful but essentially local figures (1945-1972), through the rise of maverick, culturally salient 'police heroes' (1973-1986), to the establishment (from 1987 onwards) of a more corporate and generally liberal police outlook. Here in Part II we develop a sociological interpretation of these documented shifts, by seeking to grasp: (i) contemporary transformations in the professional ideology of police elites; (ii) the relation of those elites to the architecture and programmes of government, and (iii) the changing social and cultural conditions within which the police voice with all its authoritative 'social magic' has during the post-war period been called forth, transmitted and received.

Suggested Citation

Loader, Ian and Mulcahy*, Aogn, The Power of Legitimate Naming ( 2001). British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 41, Issue 2, pp. 252-265, 2001. Available at SSRN:

Ian Loader (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

Aogn Mulcahy*

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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