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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134980 Find in a Library
Title: Name Is Just a Name: Or Is It?
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:61  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1992)  Pages:4-8
Author(s): J P Boller Jr
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Given the importance of names in the identification of persons, this article instructs police officers in how names are structured and used in various cultures represented in the United States.
Abstract: Cultural and legal practices vis-a-vis names are explained for Italians, Filipinos, Middle Eastern peoples, Nigerians, Russians and Ukrainians, Southwest Asians, Spanish-Americans, and Spanish-Speaking persons. The article explains how names are formed in each of these cultures and how changes in the structure of the name may occur in formal, informal, and legal usage; e.g., in the Italian culture the order of the first name and surname is often reversed, and a person's name is followed by "di" (of) and then the parents' names. The article also explains how it is possible to change names in some countries. Nigerians, for example, may legally change their names with the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Lagos, Nigeria, and then have a new birth certificate issued under the new name. Identification thus requires a complete description and fingerprints or the assistance of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. For each country or culture discussed, the article explains techniques police should use to facilitate identification of persons from the culture. Generally, the article advises that if there are any doubts as to a person's identity, the person should be asked to write out his/her entire proper name. Also, for persons of certain cultures, various combinations of the proper name should be used when conducting identification inquiries. 8 footnotes
Main Term(s): Name identification
Index Term(s): Ethnic groups; Suspect identification; Victim identification
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