Degree Year

2001

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology

Advisor(s)

William Norris
James Walsh

Keywords

Police, Reform, United States, London, Community, Authority

Abstract

American interpretations of the police officer's role in our society span the distance between two distinct and opposite poles. On the one hand, many Americans, especially those living in middle or upper class, non-urban, predominantly white areas, believe that a police officer is a hero, "a courageous public servant [and] a defender of life and property." If they are victimized in some way, they believe they can call the police, and that the police will come to their aid. There is however, a considerable segment of our society, often those living in poor, urban, non-white areas, that understands police officers purely as agents of oppression; as thugs who harass, abuse, and sometimes kill innocent civilians because of personal racial and class biases.

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Sociology Commons

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