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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 3750
Professor
Parnaby
Semester
Fall

Description
September 10 th Fall 2013 Prof: Parnaby SOC*3750 Police in Society Bain and Zimmerman – ‘Understanding Great Teaching”  Surface – memorization  Strategic – seek out what is required of them, learn only that  Deep – fully understanding the content and being able to apply the knowledge. Understand the broader significance. Themes: Risk & Trust  Knit ideas together o Risk and Trust – two main themes Risk – 101  Social construction of risk  Organizations and risk  Political economy of risk  Culture and risk  Risk is a dependent variable Constructions of Risk  Risks don‟t literally exist o In order to talk about them, we socially construct risk o Construction of what?  Define what is risky, identify what is at risk.  Shared value system must be present in order for risks to exist; e.g. money, personal safety o Organizational & institutional forces. o Risk, social order, change, power  Promoting certain „risky behaviours‟ in order to prompt change. Organizations and Risk  Risks and modern organizations o Definitions of risk (and cause) yield intervention and/or regulation (MADD)  Contested Meanings: The Construction of Alcohol Problems – Joseph R. Gusfield  Drinking and driving is a problem due to poor zoning by-laws  Risk, power and control  Government, media, police, victims‟ groups, others…? Political Economy of Risk  Unequal distributions of risk – Ulrich Beck – Risk Society o Health, environment, crime etc. o Race, ethnicity, SES, geography etc. Culture and Risk  Risk as part of our culture o Culture & shared definitions (Tierney p. 218) & Risk and Blame by Mary Douglas o Common rituals and risk o Risk vs. danger  Risks are the consequences of decisions.  Conflated Trust – 101  Barber (1983) o Fulfill natural/moral order o Technical competence o Fiduciary responsibilities  Importance of social context  Simplifies social action (Luhmann 1979)  Natural order is expected & broken  Fiduciary responsibility is expected and broken  Trust in “proper” police conduct Role, Recruitment, Training 10/09/2013 3:00:00 PM Roles of Police  law enforcement and order management; o interconnected phenomena. o order is always a particular kind of order (for who? what social class? what organization?). Enforcement can create disorder (Waco, Texas example – law enforcement didn‟t like the kind of order that was present in Koresh‟s compound) (OPP example – Dudley George was shot when law enforcement tried to change the order that was present). - Bittner (1970) said it was necessary to identify key/unique responsibilities of police. His only unique responsibility for police: legal use of coercive/deadly force. Roles of Police Explained  Manning calls the police mandate an “impossible mandate”. It consists of a role system that is full of problems and impossible to carry out.  role strain – the roles we have given to police are fundamentally at odds with each other and as a result, officers feel role strain. They want to be three people at once.  trust and expectations of role fulfillment; o trust is defined as „the willingness of other agents to fulfill their contractual obligation that is crucial for cooperation‟. We want police to fulfill their role as we expect them to act (predictability equals trust).  - public pressure and PR – messages police put out in their releases are designed to convince public of role fulfillment. Those roles are „doing something‟ (patrolling, engaging, and interacting with the public), and „law enforcement‟ (press releases of what they have accomplished). Recruitment - why become a police officer?  help society – but one could help society in many other ways. o intrinsic qualities that applicants appreciate such as;  adventure - risk, challenge, excitement.  prestige - we look at prestige as a dependent variable, dependent upon many things. - young people tend to see policing as a „dangerous career choice‟. It actually isn‟t a dangerous job in general when compared to others. Dynamics of Organizational Reproduction  what‟s the sociological relationship between recruitment tactics and an organization‟s identity/profile? o this question isn‟t specific to policing.  recruitment tactics; o recruiting team, officers, media advertising, unsolicited applications, police volunteers, community presentations. Many of these strategies are targeted to the population that wants to be police (certain neighbourhoods, fourth year seminar classes).  Screening; o psych testing – started in 1989 in Ontario. MMPI tests for „normality‟. Who‟s normal, what‟s normal, who decided what normal is? If hiring decisions are made based on „normal‟, over time the recruits are going to be consistent. Testing is also about risk management – looking to weed out officers who may cause trouble. o background check – research used to say that background checks could predict misconduct. Today they use data images such as databases on criminality or credit checks. These checks speak to managerial and legal rationalities of the police services  making sure they aren‟t going to bring problems down the road. Applicants are treated as both assets and liabilities.  diversity and recruiting; o much debate whether it is taken seriously. o visible minorities and women are still very under-represented. As much as services reach out to women, many women don‟t want to be police. Women tend to be better police and have greater job satisfaction. Minorities are related to a culture of distrust with police. o assumption that „women‟ and „minorities‟ reflect the concerns of women and minorities. o assumption that diversity breeds tolerance and respect. Assume that minority officers want the pressure of representing all minority culture in the police force (which they likely don‟t want that burden of representing their entire community). o young blacks are often accused of „selling out‟ especially in the United States. Family, friends, and their communities ridicule them as working for the bad side. Training  criticisms; o not extensive enough. o is isolation a good thing? How do you develop good officers by isolating them from the people they police? Weak critique. o paramilitary structure? Exposed to the up and down hierarchy with an emphasis on structure and order. o too much emphasis on technical skill. o high stress with maladaptive coping strategies  training environment is high-demand which can lead to social distancing, escape-avoidance, drugs, and alcohol. o training prepares officers and reproduces the police organization. Organizational Philosophes  norms and values that define an institution over time.  police „force‟ vs. police „service‟ o organizational philosophy informs recruitment and training. o shift from force to service in 1980s – simply sounds better. o transition from Random, Rapid, Reactive to “community policing”.  where organizational philosophes clash; o pedagogical approach to training – how do you teach a cop?  dominant model is like a university lecture hall with a give/receive dynamic.  no interaction with public or each other.  hierarchical setup that enforces rank.  is this compatible with service role and problem solving? Probably not.  higher education – should police officers have a college or university degree as a condition of their employment? o brains vs. braun. o used to hire farm boys and military boys. o now, 75% of higher education. o professionalization of policing. o advantages;  public communication skills.  better written skills.  less citizen complaints.  initiative and adapt quickly.  professionalism.  likely to be promoted.  appreciate the complexity of the justice system. o disadvantages;  get disillusioned – what the job is, is different than what they originally thought.  more likely to request reassignment.  question orders.  first three undermine hierarchy and increase risk.  less sympathetic to lower class.  feel unchallenged.  officers too „soft‟.  hidden curriculum; o beneath all the new stuff, the old police norms and values are inherent within police training.  - training for high-impact risks? o emphasis in training is often of risk and death. Humans may focus on strategies to keep themselves safe when faces with threat, danger, and death. When listening to training scenarios, recruits could be focused on survival rather than „softer‟, deeper meanings. Preparation for low probability, but high-impact risks. Roles  Law enforcement, order maintenance, force  The impossible mandate Why become an officer?  Helping society, prestige, risk/adventure o Prestige varies through different communities Recruitment and organizational reproduction Representational recruitment  Selling out, the burden and cultures of mistrust o Burden of being an extension of the representation of recruitment (female representing females) Training  Service vs. force philosophy  Clashing philosophies in environment, relevance of education, particular skills Week 3 – Subcultures 10/09/2013 3:00:00 PM Sociology and Subcultures  Long tradition – sociology of deviance/crime The Rebels  Dan Wolf – UPEI Anthropology  Identify, norms/values, boundary maintenance, argot, appearance o Boundary maintenance – well established reasons behind admittance into the group o Not so much whether you‟re a „biker‟, but whether you are showing deference and respect to the individuals in the bike group. o Argot – difference language among bikers o Appearance – what they wear and why the wear it. The images they display towards others in their „uniform‟ A subculture: “…a system of values and attitudes, modes of behaviour, and life-styles of a social group that is somewhat distinct from, yet nevertheless connected to, dominant culture.” (Dominant culture((location of generic social processes/dynamics))subculture) Why Study Subcultures?  Render important groups transparent o Civil liberties (policing), democracy (politicians), information (media)  Evaluation, regulation and policy Police Subcultures: Methodological Challenges  Gaining access o Policing as a „closed institution‟ – the blue wall of silence (Niederhoffer 1967; Ericson 1982; Herbert 1997 and on and on…) o Gatekeepers, risk and trust  Need to identify the gatekeeper to gain access; risk to the integrity of the organization. Do not want their public reputation being undermined. Demonstrate knowledge, don‟t push to hard, respect. o Top or bottom access?  Senior ranking officials will give access to the lower individuals – may have negative impact on the information you will collect.  Officers on the beat may offer to talk with friends at work – who likes who? No guarantee the officer will have sufficient contacts for you. o Local history and geographic variation o Learning the normative structure o Gaining trust  “playing stupid” versus well-informed  If you have credentials, they will quickly start to hate you. Intimidation is a key factor. o “Going Native”  Becoming too connected to the subculture o Exiting the field  Severing ties and writing what you want to write o Cops, a Masters student and a Leaf‟s jersey  Little things at a research interview are crucial Police Subculture: Adventure and Machismo  Machismo/masculinity  Male officers value law enforcement - All the Centurions by Robert Leuci o Memories and drama o Risk taking, thrill of chase, catching “bad guys” – stil used today o Station Queens – officers working at desks are referred to as this.  Common explanations: o Recruitment?  We are recruiting macho, adventure seeking males who embody this description.  No clear evidence o Training and socialization  Skolnick (1966)  Parables and story telling  Can we connect A to B? Recruitment  Traning/Socialization = Adventure & Risk Taking Factor X  Training/Socialization  Adventure & Risk Taking Factor Y   But, it‟s not unique to policing o Males (16-24) tend to be risk takers  Social might be reinforcing & amplifying biological tendency o Evolutionary psychology  Regardless, it‟s not straight forward. o Herbert‟s normative orders  Crystal clear that mature, male officers make careful decisions in life; balancing act in their head  Education, age, rank, location.  Steven Pinker “The better angels of our nature: Why violence is declining”  Narratives as sub-cultural “currency” o Rookies, stories and chest pokes  Make fun of the rookies – lowers their status due to the lack of stories  Sexual exploits, big fish and status  Adventure narratives as functional o Need to be dealt with; typically very sexist o Sociological view: very functional but how to they remain throughout generations of police officers o Shared experience, common ground and solidarity o Generates “risk awareness” – funny now but it wasn't  Masculinity & machismo inseparable from “adventure” in policing  Hyper-masculinity  20% women o Until 1970s: Matrons, social work and desk work o Aileen Richards: first female Halifax officer to go on street patrol  Discrimination, harassment & limited mobility  Janet Merlo & Class Action Suit vs. RCMP o Finally came forward and disclosed the types of things she was being subjected to.  POLICE–woman of Police-WOMAN? (Rabe-Hemp 2008) Police Subcultures: Binary Moral Order  The world “out there” is divided o Us vs. Them o Thin Blue Line  They are the blue line between that out there and them in here o Scum/perps/the puke…and academics?  Moral order as functional? o Concrete action o “military break you down to rebuild you” o These environments are inherently racist, breaking down others as inhuman through the use of racial slurs in an attempt to differentiate between the bad and good guys o Rookie to realist  Trust, risk and predictable behaviour o Trust = assume the other will not act in ways Debates About Binary Moral Order  Waddington (1999) “Police (Canteen) Subculture” o Leave this language in the canteen and act with the upmost professionalism on the job o Bifurcation of cultures o Canteen as „backstage” drama? o Subcultural research & police bashing.  “Brotherhood” & Bonds o Function of training & experience o Isolation and distrust  The more this develops, the more the boundary maintenance kicks in. If they‟re all your brothers, who are the others? o Female experiences  Cross a number of these lines  Functional o Protection  Brother or sister and seen to be kept safe at all times  “Brotherhood of Corruption” – Juan Antonio Juarez  “Good Cops – The Case for Preventative Policing” – David A. Harris o Individual coping  Without this bond; PTSD, quitting, emotional stress are have all high rates o Organizational resilience  A department who sticks together can put up with a lot Police Subcultures: Collegiality  Collegiality & Durkheim  Communicate and implicit message o Has everything to do with the officer that passed away o Everything to do with the others in the room  If this ever happens to you, we will do the same thing  By reassuring the existing officers, you are ensuring their ongoing commitment to the force Subculture: Evaluating the Concept  “Shedding Light on Police Culture: An examination of Officers‟ Occupational Attitudes”  Compared St. Petersburg Police Dpt. In Florida o 240 of 246 potential officers surveyed  Indianapolis Police Department o  7 different groups/clusters o Traditionalists o Law enforcers o Old pros o Peacekeepers o Lay-lows o Dirty harry enforcers o Anti-organizational street cops  In general, very obvious us vs. them theme, appreciation for crime fighting and distrustful of the public Police Misconduct 10/09/2013 3:00:00 PM Objective: Add complexity  Definitions  Organizational & cultural contexts  Theories  Case studies Types of Misconduct  Conceptually/discursively ambiguous o Discriminatory acts  Prejudicial treatment on the basis age, race, culture, gender etc. o Noble cause corruption (Dirty Harry Problem)  Very important and noble cause but arriving at the problem through corrupt behaviour  Questionable means to reach noble ends o Self-Interested Corruption  Exploiting others or entire groups. Using authority to secure personal gain (free coffee, drugs, sex)  Issues of technicality o General Misbehaviour/Misconduct  Behaviours that violate institutional codes of conduct (Police Services Act) o Crime o Use of Force  Excessive  More force than is justifiable to apprehend/subdue somebody  Illegal  Use of force contravenes a legal statute  Can‟t just knock you out, illegal and excessive  Brutality  Serious physical or psychological harm. Emphasis on savagery or cruelty  Deadly  Improper  Unwarranted, perhaps violating the Police Services Act (perhaps not) Misconduct in Detail  Noble cause corruption o When an officer uses questionable means to achieve otherwise noble ends; brotherhood of corruption o The ingredients:  1. Noble cause (justice, equity, safety etc.)  2. Opportunity  If they have no drugs to plant on a suspect, they have no means to arrest him  3. Guilty party  offender(s); self evident  4. Believe legitimate means are inadequate  One that is usually looked over; has to have the mentality that procedure could be done but it wont do anything. The leap is then made to achieve through other ways  Must believe the system is; underfunded, lenient, flawed, overcrowded prisons, corrupt, inefficient . o Think scientifically…”under what conditions are these variables more or less likely to converge?” o Opportunity + guilty party  Cohen & Felson‟s RA theory? o Examples:  Planting drugs  Noble cause is there but need to invent a new way of obtaining arrest  Perjury   Obtaining evidence without proper warrant o Noble cause corruption comes from:  Working philosophy, means, ends and higher order justification (Skolnick 1996)  Learning how to engage in noble cause corruption…taught this is how the job gets done.  Police are extremely pragmatic individuals…they know what needs to be done and will whatever is necessary  Presentation of self vs. backstage law enforcement  Very carefully managed persona for media and public stage purposes  Backstage, processes are different o Structural anomie (i.e. Merton) as explanation?  Know the goals of society but lack the legitimate means of obtaining them. Distribution of “crime fighting” means (not equal) Cultural Emphasis on crime fighting as “success” o Noble cause corruption as innovation? Use of force (excessive & brutal)  Official US data: o Police use force rarely. When they do, it‟s usually on the lower end of the spectrum. Usually involves those who were resisting arrest and/or under the influence of alcohol or drugs o More than necessary o Determining proportionate force? o Assessing actual and potential for resistance  What more is he capable of doing and will he do it?  Officer must instantly assess the risk and act accordingly o Adrenaline, risk/trust, & working memory capacity  Working memory capacity – the ability to work while o Adam Nobody  Officers calling for help – constantly hearing things through radio of officers hurt  Protestors with weapons  Anxiety, fear, risk  The evolutionary psychology of rage  Information technology & information control  topic for paper?  “official statements” vis-à-vis video images o latency between reporting to media release is shortening  What was and wasn‟t on video – what you see is only a fraction of the event  Dynamic power relations & struggle to frame the problem o Individuals with power, money and charisma will frame the problem  Research Challenges o Under reporting  Most goes unreported o Victim/witness credibility  Those who report are usually credible; those who do not are usually connected to negative social credibility o Institutionalized code of silence  G20 Name tags  Removed to avoid being identified. Hodgson‟s “Police Violence in Canada and the USA” (2001)  Organizational approach o Paramilitary & authoritarian  Superiors and subordinates taught that they have powers others do not.  Is it any real mystery that they would wind up in situations were excessive force is used? o Intolerance o Blind application of “the rules” o After five years, they become jaded and lose their innocence, less sympathy for others. o Value force and street experience  Idea that the more time put in, the more respect received.  Demonstrating ability to hold their own.  o Disposed to violence o Unable to deal with “service”  The softer side of policing as a result  Critique: o Structure & agency  Look at this area to see why police act in the way they do  Cops have the ability to make good decisions when the time is right, balance needs to be identified o What about non-violent officers (majority)?  Sociological argument is fundamentally incomplete. What about some women or non-violent males? o Male propensity for violence?  Who needs complex social relations to facilitate violence among males?  It happens all the time, not necessarily in the police force. Pinker‟s statement Corruption  NYPD o E.g., 1972 Knapp Commission  Arrangements with criminals for money  Shake downs  Code of silence o 1994 Mollen Commission  Toronto: The Neily Report o 2001 Julian Fantino asks John Neily (RCMP) to head investigation  Substantial evidence found (online report) o Winter 2004: 6 drug squad off
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