Policing the Wild North-West: A Sociological Study of the Provincial Police in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 1905-32

By Zhiqiu Lin | Go to book overview
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NOTES

NOTES TO INTRODUCTION

1 E. P. Thompson, Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act (New York: Pantheon, 1975), 265.

2 R.C. Macleod, “Canadianizing the West: the N.W. Mounted Police as Agents of the National Policy, 1873–1905,” in Essays on Western History in Honour of Lewis Gwynne Thomas, ed. Lewis H. Thomas (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1976), 103.

3 Jose Villa-Arce, “Alberta Provincial Police,” Alberta Historical Review 21, no. 4 (Autumn 1973): 16; Macleod, “Canadianizing the West,” 102.

4 In 1904, “Royal” was added to the North-West Mounted Police in recognition of distinguished service rendered by members of the NWMP in the Boer War.

5 These materials are compiled in more than a hundred boxes in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in Edmonton and in seventy-four boxes in the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan in Regina.

6 In a more practical sense, the history of the provincial police forces also provides an opportunity to examine social and political implications of provincial policing in western Canada. Although provincial police existed over three quarters of a century ago, they are still relevant to today’s federal and provincial politics. In recent years, the re-establishment of the provincial police force in Alberta has been suggested as part of a larger political “firewall” strategy. Certainly, the implications of previous provincial police forces in the two provinces should be taken into consideration in the current debates on the pros and cons of once again maintaining such a provincial police force.

7 In a broader sense, professionalization refers to “processes affecting the social and symbolic construction of occupation and status.” H. Siegrist, “Professionalization/professions in History,” in International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 18 (New York: Elsevier, 2001), 12154. The concept of professionalization used in this study, however, is similar to the Weberian concept of “rationalization.” By “professionalization,” we refer, following Weberian theory, to the process by which traditional custom and habits are increasingly replaced by explicit, intellectually calculable and predictable rules and procedures in various spheres of social life. More specifically, in political and legal domains, the professionalization process entails the promotion and advance of a structure of formal laws, as well as bureaucratic organizations that administer such laws according to calculable and predictable procedures, regardless of political ideology and moral ends (Max Weber, Economy and Society, ed. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich, vol. 1–2 [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978], 954).

-203-

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