Re-arranging fear: Police officers' discursive constructions of emotion
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This article concentrates on relationships between police officers, critical incident events and psychological support services. It challenges the traditional psychological theory of emotion, looking instead at the construction of emotion discourses in social interactions, in particular the rhetoric that police officers use to preserve their political and social environment. It examines the emotion talk of this particular cultural context through a reading of interviews with 11 police officers in New Zealand. A social constructionist perspective illustrates that officers use both emotion and non-emotion rhetoric for interpreting somatic and affective experiences of critical incident events, and they avoid interpreting their experience as "fear". It is argued that the rhetoric employed is appropriate and functional in a police work context. Findings are discussed in relation to the construction of emotion and the provision of support services such as trauma policy debriefing for personnel following traumatic experiences.
Policing and Society
Social and Community Psychology