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Back on the Beat: Revisiting Fieldwork Among the Police

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Abstract:

Ethnographic research is a staple in the social sciences; however, utilization of this method is generally daunting in application and is more difficult in certain environments. Observational research on certain groups increases the research demands, as these groups construct barriers for outsiders. Gaining entry to patrol officers’ perspectives, fraternalism, application of duties, and interactions with suspects involves constant strategies of character development and maintenance. Although previous research on gaining access to the law enforcement subculture has highlighted obstacles and methods to overcome patrol officers’ guarded position, law enforcement organizations have experienced various structural adaptations and officer demographics have changed in the past two decades. The purpose of this presentation is to update the literature on gaining access to patrol officers and systematically discuss difficulties I encountered while conducting fieldwork on patrol officers in a large southern city’s police agency. A comparison of the extant literature and current data suggest that, while there has been a demographic shift in patrol officers, many of the obstacles of gaining access and the processes of building character confidence remain stable. In exploring this research method, I discuss several practical strategies and related ethical concerns.
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Association:
Name: ASC Annual Meeting
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http://www.asc41.com


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373842_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Caudill, Jonathan. "Back on the Beat: Revisiting Fieldwork Among the Police" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 04, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373842_index.html>

APA Citation:

Caudill, J. W. , 2009-11-04 "Back on the Beat: Revisiting Fieldwork Among the Police" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373842_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Ethnographic research is a staple in the social sciences; however, utilization of this method is generally daunting in application and is more difficult in certain environments. Observational research on certain groups increases the research demands, as these groups construct barriers for outsiders. Gaining entry to patrol officers’ perspectives, fraternalism, application of duties, and interactions with suspects involves constant strategies of character development and maintenance. Although previous research on gaining access to the law enforcement subculture has highlighted obstacles and methods to overcome patrol officers’ guarded position, law enforcement organizations have experienced various structural adaptations and officer demographics have changed in the past two decades. The purpose of this presentation is to update the literature on gaining access to patrol officers and systematically discuss difficulties I encountered while conducting fieldwork on patrol officers in a large southern city’s police agency. A comparison of the extant literature and current data suggest that, while there has been a demographic shift in patrol officers, many of the obstacles of gaining access and the processes of building character confidence remain stable. In exploring this research method, I discuss several practical strategies and related ethical concerns.


Similar Titles:
Reporting Police Misconduct: Differential Association/Social Learning Among Police Officers

Predictors of Perceived Police Misconduct: Attitudes toward Police among Chinese Immigrants in San Francisco

Police Contacts and Attitudes towards the Police among Teenagers

The Nature of Police Integrity among Slovenian Police Officers after Two Decades of Slovenian Independence


 
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