Week 6: Police & the Social Construction of Deviance & Normality
(The case of Racial profiling and the Ku Klux Klan in the US & Canada)
Critical Race Theory
• White power and racial power are maintained over time, and that the LAW may play a
role in this PROCESS.
• Racism is embedded in the fabric and system of AMERICAN society.
• Power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which spreads the
marginalisation of racial minorities.
• Direct Discrimination (De Jure) Racial discriminatory practices that have been preserved
• Direct Discrimination (De Facto) The continuance of racial discriminatory practices
even in the face of LAWS or POLICIES designed to eliminate racial discrimination.
• Indirect Discrimination Practices that are = in a formal sense, but racially discriminatory
• Institutional Racism Racist actions are built into the policy or mode of action of
institutions regardless of the attitudes of those individuals who carry out the activities of
• Contextual Discrimination Racial discrimination is likely under certain specific conditions
but not others. For example, in certain places and at certain times.
Police and Racial Discrimination: Racial Profiling
• 2002 Youth Crime Victimisation Survey – Julian Tanner and Scot Wortley
• 3, 383 high Toronto high school students randomly surveyed between 1999 and 2000
• Questioned about how often they have been stopped and searched by the police in the last
• Also questioned about delinquent activities in the last year
• Multivariate Analysis – When examining the statistical relationship between an
INDEPENDENT VARIABLE and a DEPENDENT VARIABLE, we CONTROL for other variables
that might explain the relationship.
.i.e. age, gender, subjective social class, living circumstances, everyday leisure activities
. Here, BEHAVIOUR is statistically controlled for
• After statically controlling for relevant variables and performing multivariate analysis….
• Black youth are 4.14 times more likely to be stopped by the police compared to white youth.
• Black youth are 6.38 times more likely to be searched by the police compared to white youth
• 49% of black youth who report no delinquent activity have been stopped and searched vs.
only 17% of similar white youth
• 83% of black youth who report the highest levels of delinquent activity have been stopped and
searched vs. 82% of similar white youth
• Social construction of skin colour as deviance.
• Master Status Everett Hughes. Primary identifying characteristic of an individual.
• Auxiliary Status Other statuses that becomes secondary to the master status
determining trait. Ku Klux Klan:
1 KKK th
• Founded by six CONFEDERATE veterans on December 24 , 1865 during the
RECONSTRUCTION of the South after the CIVIL WAR.
• Wanted to control the dramatically changed social situation in the SOUTH and restore WHITE
• Used public VIOLENCE against BLACK people as a form of intimidation.
• Many states responded to the violence by passing ANTI-KKK LEGISLATION.
• KU KLUX KLAN ACT OF 1871 Federal law enacted that was used to enforce civil rights
provisions under the constitution.
• 1870- federal court deems the KKK to be a TERRORIST ORGANISATION.
• State and local authorities rarely acted against the clan
• Black people were being denied seats on juries; white juries rarely convicted clansmen;
either out of fear of retaliation, or support f