Race and Policing in America: Conflict and Reform

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 12, 2006 - Social Science
Race and Policing in America is about relations between police and citizens, with a focus on racial differences. It utilizes both the authors' own research and other studies to examine Americans' opinions, preferences, and personal experiences regarding the police. Guided by group-position theory and using both existing studies and the authors' own quantitative and qualitative data (from a nationally representative survey of whites, blacks, and Hispanics), this book examines the roles of personal experience, knowledge of others' experiences (vicarious experience), mass media reporting on the police, and neighborhood conditions (including crime and socioeconomic disadvantage) in structuring citizen views in four major areas: overall satisfaction with police in one's city and neighborhood, perceptions of several types of police misconduct, perceptions of police racial bias and discrimination, and evaluations of and support for a large number of reforms in policing.
 

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Contents

Race Policing and Public Opinion
5
Theoretical Issues
7
Key Policing Issues
25
Overview of the Book
38
Police Misconduct
39
Police Misconduct
45
Perceptions and Experiences of Misconduct
50
What Shapes Views of Misconduct?
58
Is Officers Race Important?
95
Conclusion
119
Reforming the Police
124
Major Types of Reform
126
Popular Support for Reform
139
What Influences Reform Preferences?
152
What Other Reforms Are Desired?
161
Conclusion
173

Observations of Misconduct
65
Racially Biased Policing
74
Perceptions and Experiences of Racially Biased Policing
78
Explaining Citizen Views of Racialized Policing
89
Conclusion The Continuing Racial Divide
178
Data and Methods
191
References
205
Index
221

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About the author (2006)

Ronald Weitzer is professor of sociology at George Washington University, where he has taught since 1988. His primary research interests are in criminology, with specialization in policing. He has published extensively on the issue of police-minority relations in the United States, Northern Ireland, and South Africa. A secondary area of expertise is the sex industry. His books include Current Controversies in Criminology (2003), Deviance and Social Control (2002), Sex For Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Industry (2000), Policing Under Fire: Ethnic Conflict and Police-Community Relations in Northern Ireland (1995), and Transforming Settler States: Communal Conflict and Internal Security in Northern Ireland and Zimbabwe (1990).

Steven A. Tuch is professor of sociology at George Washington University, where he has taught since 1983. His primary research interests are in racial stratification and public opinion. He has published extensively on these topics in such journals as American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Problems, Criminology, Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, and Social Science Research, among others. He is the coeditor of Racial Attitudes in the 1990s: Continuity and Change (1997). In 19978 he was a Fulbright Fellow in the Institute of Sociology at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.

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