- "It's all about the body": the bodily capital of armed response officers in South Africa
- Medical Anthropology
- Volume | Issue number
- 34 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In this article, I analyze the role of bodily capital in the daily policing practices of armed response officers, a specific type of private security officers, in Durban, South Africa. Based on 20 months of ethnographic fieldwork, I argue that the masculinized bodily capital of armed response officers is a key source of their sovereign power; it plays a central role in how they acquire and exert authority. Furthermore, I argue that an analysis of bodily capital should not solely analyze the actual flesh of the body, but must include particular equipment (such as bulletproof vests and firearms) that is experienced as a part of the body.
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