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Becoming with a police dog: training technologies for bonding

Smith, H., Miele, M., Charles, N. and Fox, R. 2021. Becoming with a police dog: training technologies for bonding. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 10.1111/tran.12429
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To develop and illustrate the potential for visual methodologies in conducting multispecies ethnography, we present a case study of general‐purpose police dog training in the UK. Our argument is two‐fold: firstly, we draw on STS approaches and insights for looking at training activities as material and socio‐cultural devices that, we argue, constitute a training technology. Here we have been influenced by the work of Cussins and adopted her concept of ‘ontological choreographies’ for addressing the development of the police ‐dog police‐officer bond and ability to communicate for working together. Secondly, we argue that visual data capture presents valuable opportunities for ‘less human‐centred’ and more symmetrical methods to approach nonhuman/more than human research subjects. We illustrate how photo diaries and video clips enabled us to remain attentive to the material and embodied practices of dog training bringing to the fore the dogs’actions, tools and devices and thus enlivening the material‐cultural choreographies of the training activities. In conclusion, we elucidate how this onto‐epistemological approach enabled us to investigate the material and corporeal construction of the General Purpose (GP) police.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0020-2754
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 January 2021
Date of Acceptance: 4 January 2021
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2021 18:54

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