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NCJ Number: 64185 Find in a Library
Title: INEQUALITY AND POLICE STRENGTH - CONFLICT THEORY AND COERCIVE CONTROL IN METROPOLITAN AREAS
Journal: AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW  Volume:44  Issue:6  Dated:(DECEMBER 1979)  Pages:913-925
Author(s): D JACOBS
Corporate Author: American Sociological Review
Managing Editor
American Sociological Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: American Sociological Review
Washington, DC 20036
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH PAPER EXPLORES THE PROPOSITION HELD BY CONFLICT THEORISTS THAT DIFFERENCES IN ECONOMIC RESOURCES GIVE ELITES THE ABILITY TO CONTROL THE COERCIVE APPARATUS OF THE STATE.
Abstract: PRONOUNCED ECONOMIC DIFFERENCES ALSO PROVIDE ELITES WITH A STRONG NEED TO MAINTAIN ORDER SO THAT ONGOING RELATIONSHIPS WILL NOT BE DISTURBED. BECAUSE A STRONG POLICE FORCE IS THE MOST DIRECT WAY TO MAINTAIN ORDER, ONE LOGICAL IMPLICATION OF CONFLICT THEORY IS THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL SHOULD BE MOST NUMEROUS IN METROPOLITAN AREAS WHERE DIFFERENCES IN ECONOMIC RESOURCES ARE GREATEST. CROSS-SECTIONAL ANALYSES OF LARGE SMSA'S IN 1960 DID NOT ALWAYS SUPPORT THIS HYPOTHESIS. BUT WHEN DATA FROM 1970 WERE ANALYZED, THE RESULTS INVARIABLY SHOWED THAT UNEQUAL METROPOLITAN AREAS WERE LIKELY TO HAVE MORE POLICE AND OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL. RESULTS ALSO INDICATED THAT METROPOLITAN AREAS WITH MORE BLACKS HAD STRONGER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN 1970, BUT THIS EFFECT WAS NOT PRESENT IN THE 1960 EQUATIONS. THUS, ECONOMIC AND RACIAL CLEAVAGES WERE BETTER PREDICTORS OF POLICE STRENGTH AFTER A DECADE OF WELL PUBLICIZED SOCIAL UPHEAVALS THAT MAY HAVE BEEN THREATENING TO ELITES. AN ADDITIONAL ANALYSIS ALSO SHOWED THAT UNEQUAL METROPOLITAN AREAS HAD FEWER PUBLIC WORKERS IN FIELDS OTHER THAN LAW ENFORCEMENT. THEREFORE, IN AREAS WHERE DIFFERENCES IN RESOURCES FAVOR THE AFFLUENT, ONE CAN EXPECT THAT MORE RESOURCES WILL BE SPENT ON COERCIVE CONTROL AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHER PUBLIC SERVICES. TABULAR DATA AND A LIST OF REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--MJW)
Index Term(s): Conflict theory; Marxism; Police manpower deployment; Police resource allocation; Sociology; Urban area studies
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64185

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