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NCJ Number: NCJ 096288     Find in a Library
Title: Police Socialization in the Eighties - Strains in the Forging of an Occupational Identity
Author(s): C Bahn
  Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:12  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1984)  Pages:390-394
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 5
  Annotation: Within the last decade, the police occupational socialization process has become less effective in forging a strong and coherent police identity.
Abstract: Three reasons, offered as hypotheses, suggest why this vitiation of police identity is occurring. The first concerns the current demography of recruits, who tend to be somewhat older, better educated, and more experienced than in earlier years. Secondly, affirmative action has introduced new political and social considerations into the choice of a police career. The recruitment and selection of minority recruits connotes more than the selection of qualified persons who desire to be police officers. In an affirmative action program, the selection of minority recruits also symbolizes the intent to rectify past racial imbalances in police forces. This may have an effect on the performance and socialization of the minority candidates as well as a more general adulterating effect on police identity. The third suggested factor concerns the way in which women, now entering the police ranks in sizable numbers, assume their police roles. Research on the comparative performance of policewomen finds that their overall effectiveness is not significantly different from that of male officers, but that there are significant stylistic differences. A deliberately intense police socialization process was effective for many decades in molding strong occupational identities. If this is to continue, it will be in the face of factors that cause strains in this identity-forging process. Twenty-four references are listed.
Index Term(s): Social change ; Police recruits ; Male female police performance comparisons ; Socialization ; Cultural influences ; Literature reviews ; Minority police ; Female police recruits
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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