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"Black-on-Black" Policing: African-American Police and the Negotiation of Marginalized Identity in American Criminal Justice

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Abstract:

The study finds African-American police officers at the overlap of two groups in opposition – police officers and low-income African-American city residents. How do African-American police reconcile the tension between racial-group and professional-role identity? In articulating their bond with the African-American community and the police institution, do African-American police challenge or conform to the “other-izing” culture of the police institution? Using the sociological insights of social boundary work, and the social psychological frameworks of identity theory, the study examines how African-American officers articulate their position at this unique social location. Data derives from 17 in-depth interviews with African-American police officers in Oakland, California and Washington, D.C. -- two cities with substantial African-American authority in the police department and in local government. The study concludes that in managing two identities ostensibly in conflict, African-American officers cast themselves as the protagonist in two disparate “justice narratives,” both of which appeal to the notion of “black progress.” The findings supplement sociological work on the utilization of symbolic boundaries and the malleability of racial identity, while also complicating sociolegal scholarship and policy work endorsing racial diversity as a promising avenue to police reform.

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polic (194), american (154), african (148), offic (140), african-american (119), communiti (72), racial (67), black (52), ident (52), respond (49), ethnic (41), narrat (39), citi (38), neighborhood (37), law (37), institut (35), crimin (34), get (33), one (32), crime (31), low (31),
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.asanet.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p308943_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Gardner, Trevor. ""Black-on-Black" Policing: African-American Police and the Negotiation of Marginalized Identity in American Criminal Justice" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Aug 07, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p308943_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gardner, T. G. , 2009-08-07 ""Black-on-Black" Policing: African-American Police and the Negotiation of Marginalized Identity in American Criminal Justice" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Online <PDF>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p308943_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The study finds African-American police officers at the overlap of two groups in opposition – police officers and low-income African-American city residents. How do African-American police reconcile the tension between racial-group and professional-role identity? In articulating their bond with the African-American community and the police institution, do African-American police challenge or conform to the “other-izing” culture of the police institution? Using the sociological insights of social boundary work, and the social psychological frameworks of identity theory, the study examines how African-American officers articulate their position at this unique social location. Data derives from 17 in-depth interviews with African-American police officers in Oakland, California and Washington, D.C. -- two cities with substantial African-American authority in the police department and in local government. The study concludes that in managing two identities ostensibly in conflict, African-American officers cast themselves as the protagonist in two disparate “justice narratives,” both of which appeal to the notion of “black progress.” The findings supplement sociological work on the utilization of symbolic boundaries and the malleability of racial identity, while also complicating sociolegal scholarship and policy work endorsing racial diversity as a promising avenue to police reform.


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Contextual Identities: Triggering Racial Identity and Group Consciousness among African Americans and Black Immigrants

Discrimination, Racial Group Identity and Depressive Symptoms: Consequences of Within Group Variation among Black Americans


 
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