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"Fed up of seeing this": reading mobile phone videos of racialised police encounters

Hayes, Niamh (2021) "Fed up of seeing this": reading mobile phone videos of racialised police encounters. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis aims to raise and explore a series of themes and questions which emerge out of a visual analysis of mobile phone videos of police encounters on YouTube. It situates these videos in a theoretical framework which conceptualises them as sites of knowledge production and meaning making. It takes as its point of departure, the pursuit of a better understanding of the kinds of knowledge and effects they are producing, and is particularly interested in the relationship between these videos and racial knowledge and racial-meaning making. Drawing from a combination of analytic tools, this research adopted an iterative research design and conducted a reflexive visual analysis of a selection of videos which further generated clusters of themes and questions. It argues that these videos can produce powerful and complex responses which result in novel forms of visual knowledge and that reckoning with the political economy of sites like YouTube is paramount to fully embracing the effects and consequences of these videos. It also argues that these videos are best understood as an emergent cultural form which will require sustained careful attention. It suggests that these videos present both continuities and changes to the figure of ‘the witness’ which evoke necessary and ongoing ethical and moral questions about this ever- growing body of images. The implications of this research concern fundamental theoretical questions about the relationship between knowledge and culture, and of how racism is ‘seen’. It also raises questions about the political efficacy and moral implications of building an archive of these deeply complex images which are increasingly becoming part of our visual culture.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2021 Niamh Hayes
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Ali, Suki and Slater, Don

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