Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Police Science - expansionen av ett kunskapsfält: En studie om vetenskapligt gränsdragningsarbete i 1930-talets Chicago
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In 1929, the Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory was established in Chicago–the first of its kind in the United States. The purpose was to engage in practical use of scientific methods in the detection of crime. In 1930, the institute published its own periodical called The American Journal of Police Science. Applying the theory of boundary-work, this essay analyses how the novelty institute argued its legitimacy as a scientific establishment through the expansion of Police Science as a collective field of knowledge. The boundaries of Police Science expanded through certain patterns: the need for, and success of, science in solving crimes; its connection to the Northwestern University, engaging in education and research; by relating contested fields of knowledge to established sciences; through technological artefacts; by language demarcating “pseudo-science” from “real science”; and as an activity based on structure. Through professionalization, higher education and official accreditation the expert became science-by-proxy representing his field of knowledge in the court of law. Exclusion of pseudo-scientists was imperative to maintain and establish epistemological and scientific authority. Influenced by the “Progressives”, Police Science included reforms such as basic education for police officers; the removal of illegal and unscientific, but institutionalised, practices such as “third-degree” to regain the public‟s trust. In the conflict between the old-school and the new generation, Sherlock Holmes became a symbol used by both sides to discredit the opponent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
Police Science, Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, The American Journal of Police Science, expert, boundary-work
National Category
History of Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225334OAI: diva2:720692
Available from: 2014-06-09 Created: 2014-06-02 Last updated: 2014-06-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(429 kB)95 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 429 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Relefors, Erik
By organisation
Department of History of Science and Ideas
History of Ideas

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 95 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 248 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link