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Anne Nassauer: Video Data Analysis as a Tool for Studying Escalation Processes: The Case of Police Use of Force. [Abstract]

This article explores the use of video data analysis to study escalation processes. Based on an in-depth study of officer-involved shootings in the United States, it first discusses the use of body-worn footage, CCTV camera, mobile phone, and dash cam footage for the analysis of escalation processes and the benefits of triangulating video data and document data for contextualizing situational analyses. The article then examines video data analysis as a fruitful tool to study police use of force and discusses two key aspects in such analyses: validity assessment and focus on specific analytic dimensions and lenses. Both aspects are illustrated by my study of officer use of force. Findings indicate that by triangulating various sources of ready-made videos available online with document data, the role of situational dynamics, as well as biases for officer use of force, can be studied systematically. Officer use of force is a striking and present example for how 21st century video data and video data analysis can allow novel insights into social phenomena. But such data and analysis also increasingly allow for examining other instances of escalation, as well as other types of extraordinary and everyday events.

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