Dusty Order : Law Enforcement and Participant Cooperation at Burning Man
Media depictions of Burning Man focus on the picturesque and eccentric appearance of the weeklong affair. The event is sometimes misportrayed as a lawless environment where participants are encouraged to engage in rowdy behavior. Most carnivalesque events offer an escape from reality and are generally thought to enable unruly conduct. Despite stereotypes, Burning Man is a different beast. Not only is the crime rate in Black Rock City lower than any other city of comparable size, but Burners show a high level of cooperative and law abiding behavior that helps maintain the social order without depending on official means of external social control. Looking at the interplay between the Black Rock Rangers, law enforcement agencies and participants themselves helps clarify how this works. "Helping lost souls to find their way home": the Black Rock Rangers.