North Vancouver, Canada, April 27, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Thundering down the highway on their trademark Harley Davidson motorcycles, Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members, such as the Hells Angels, are not hard to miss. Black leather vests with the 3-piece back patch, motorcycle boots, skull jewellery, side knives, long unkempt hair, scraggly whiskers, and elaborate tattoos set them apart from other motorcycle riders on the road. Outlaw bikers embody the spirit of rebellion and reject the cultural norms and values of conventional society. “FTW” is their motto and arrogant attitude by which this subculture attains in goals and objectives.
In contrast to the outlaw bikers, police officers are law abiding and sworn to uphold the traditional cultural norms and values of mainstream society. Law enforcement officers and outlaw bikers are most often viewed as being two distinct subcultures, whose norms, values, and beliefs are in complete opposition to each other. However, according to law enforcement sources, the distinction between Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members and law enforcement officers, which was once a clearly drawn line is now becoming blurred. In fact, some law enforcement officers are creating and joining Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs whose members allegedly emulate the outlaw biker lifestyle. Playing cop by-day and biker by-night has placed many of these public safety and police officers in a tenuous position. As a result, numerous law enforcement officials at all levels have turned against their fellow police officers due to their membership in these types of clubs. Not only have the cop-bikers alienated themselves from some of their fellow law enforcement officers, but one-percenter Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members are also angered by police officers who imitate the outlaw biker image.
Behind the Patch, published by Dog Ear Publishing, goes behind the scenes of the Renegade Pigs, the Warthogs and the Iron Warriors Motorcycle Clubs. Author Karen Katz spent several years conducting in-depth fieldwork into the Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club subculture. Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs represent a social response to the breakdown of the police subculture, specifically, the erosion of brotherhood, internal solidarity, and camaraderie within police departments. Police officers who shared a passion for riding motorcycles created their own unique hybrid subculture in order to restore a sense of brotherhood and belonging amongst themselves. Through motorcycling, Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs, provide their members with meaningful social participation and interpersonal relations, which re-establishes meaning and a sense of purpose in their lives. The salient features of the subculture are brotherhood, the wearing of colours with the 3-piece back patch and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles in group formation.
Katz writes in detail of this unique hybrid subculture. She delves into such topics as the law enforcement and outlaw biker controversies over the formation of the clubs; the history of the clubs; the purpose of the clubs; their political structure, and the role of women among other things. Photographs throughout the book add an element of realism to Katz’s project.
Katz has long been interested in understanding both the Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club Subculture and the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang subculture. Katz has received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Criminology and a Master’s of Law, specializing in Criminal Law. Katz is known for her impeccable research skills and she has a reputation as being the “data hound” for her unique abilities to track down even the most obscure primary and secondary data.
For more information, visit www.behindthepatch.com
Behind the Patch: Towards An Understanding of Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-160844-705-3 328 pages $29.99 US
Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere
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