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Illicit Networks Conference II 6th to 7th December 2010 University of Wollongong Dr Jann Karp PhD 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Illicit Networks Conference II 6th to 7th December 2010 University of Wollongong Dr Jann Karp PhD 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Illicit Networks Conference II 6th to 7th December 2010 University of Wollongong Dr Jann Karp PhD 1.

2 Aim of the paper: To examine police officers and interstate truck drivers, theorising everyday decision making within illicit networks(not a psychological or philosophic study). Illicit: (a)Not legally permitted or authorised; unlicensed; unlawful (b)Disapproved of or not permitted for moral or ethical reasons. Networks: An association of individuals having a common interest. Type of Research: Ethnography- Workers, police officers/long haul truck drivers are the authorities on their own working lives & networks. 2

3 The offer? Photo taken by Action photos. 3

4 4 The networking? ( photo is not of research participants)

5 Methods: 1. New South Wales Police: five years of narrative data collection with the executive police team (multiple methods applied) 150 interviews with executive police over a five year period (New South Wales Police Force approval ). 2. Interstate trucking industry. 21 Interviews conducted, recorded/and note taking. Passenger on long haul trips on the Eastern Seaboard of Australia (New South Wales and Federal Transport Workers Union approval given ). Researcher contacted individuals within networks to locate subjects and to arrange interviews. Essential in both sites to comply with mandatory reporting provisions. 5

6 Introduction to theory : Focusing on individuals -leads to tracing networks. 6 Habitus : categories (of perception seeing the world through police/drivers eyes) + skills (knowing how to do the things police/drivers do) + desire (you have to want to be one and do as one and stay in that universe = Learning (Bourdieu 1990).

7 NO BAD APPLE NOT ISOLATED BEHAVIOUR Application of theory to practice 7 Networks are: numerous social relations (Bourdieu 1992:101). Police in dangerous work places rely on networks to stay safe either from a physical threat, or ever increasing levels of internal intrusive oversight. Truck Drivers rely on networks to protect each other from ever increasing external oversight and internal supervision and to gain contracts to earn an income. Illicit behaviour is known, condoned, accepted and we need to build pictures and move towards an understanding of the networks. Police & Truck drivers at different levels within the labour force, will for personal gain economic reasons or status, will engage in illicit activity and therefore will be part of a network usually for similar reasons: survival.

8 Networks across: similar employment, similar interests, similar secrets across geographical groups, social groups & personal knowledge of other individuals. Your connections, who work in a similar area of interest, or within large organisations in a different field and who you share a competitive interest or conflict. 8 Truck photo supplied by :- Kerr Truck Photography.

9 1. Bourdieu(1996) does not view agents as ‘powerless’ dupes of the social structures. Their decisions and actions are informed by historical and contemporary networks. 2. Agents believe in the game and its stakes (Bourdieu 1996) 9

10 10 Case studies Trucking 1.Movement of Contraband: drugs, guns. 2. Dangerous Goods, (Class 8) = High Risks, High Penalties. Police 1.Traditional networks most relevant to corruption when survival is the issue. 2.Political interference or political accountability for decisions cause stress on individual decision making which is then spread across a network such as the executive team or an investigative squad. The issue survival, personal or organisational.

11 Prime Mover Accident Vehicle written off - Non-repairable write off. * Cannibalism (a) strip parts and use in other trucks to cut down overheads (a) option A. sell parts usable. Insurance pays loan out if insured for full amount. Insurance sells truck body (written off) to a truck repairer or wrecking yard. Option B. Rebirthing. 1. parts are not roadworthy 2.find prime mover structure to use for the rebirth -driveable truck 3.new identity serial number on engine block legitimises identity of Prime Mover. 4.truck insured under chassis number Rebirthed truck, lower negotiable price but driver/owner driver does not know the history of vehicle. Owner-driver orders a part and finds out, that for eg. The part bought belongs in 1989 model truck. This original truck was sold as 1987 model chassis. Truck history may be revealed however the truck has been refinanced before and now financed under other financial agreements. Fig: High stakes 11

12 Individual truck driver keeping his collateral 12

13 Levels of labour participation Micro level individual participation within work place labour will provide a rich source of data leading to network identification. Macro issues such as industry participation, government policy and economic forces will connect the detail of the individual stories to themes such as: survival. Further detail provides descriptions of complex relationships and structures of networks. 13

14 The networks that police and truck drivers have may be distinctly different but the activity that is illicit involves similar traditional behaviours and levels of personal conflict within those settings. The drivers in these trucks are not easily visible. Police relationships are often covert particularly when involving risky behaviour. Photo 1: Supplied by Action Photography. 14

15 Collusion is the very basis of their competition (Bourdieu 1992:98). Illicit activity means that covert collusion does involve networks in any work site. 15

16 Conclusions The aim of this work is to continue to develop our understanding of working people’s lives and provide that knowledge to outsiders. The detailed insights will illuminate similarities and differences within a social context. The workers knowledge, about the labour they undertake and the illicit networking linked to their survival provides insight into: the theoretical tensions between ‘rules’ and ways of seeing reality (Bourdieu 2003). 16

17 References 17 1.Bourdieu P. (1990) The Logic of Practice Polity Press Oxford 2.Bourdieu P. (1996) The State Nobility Stanford University Press Stanford. 3.Bourdieu P. (2003) Firing Back The New Press New York.


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