This research was supported by a scholarship provided from the Fonds Pour la Formation de Chercheurs et L'aide à la Recherche (FCAR), Province de Québec, to the first author and by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to the second author. The results reported in this manuscript formed part of the first author's doctoral dissertation research conducted at McGill University under the supervision of the second author. Portions of the data presented here were first reported in 1991 at the annual Canadian Psychological Associations Convention at Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Ethnocentrism and Authoritarianism in the Police: Challenging Stereotypes and Reconceptualizing Ingroup Identification1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 24, Issue 18, pages 1640–1664, September 1994
How to Cite
Perrott, S. B. and Taylor, D. M. (1994), Ethnocentrism and Authoritarianism in the Police: Challenging Stereotypes and Reconceptualizing Ingroup Identification. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24: 1640–1664. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1994.tb01567.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Reports of community alienation and high ingroup identification in the police suggest that they are a particularly ethnocentric group. To empirically test this hypothesis, a sample of urban police officers was surveyed to ascertain their social identity pattern. Results indicated a high level of peer solidarity, community alienation differentiated on the basis of race and social class, and the perception that the source of alienation lies more with the community than with the officers themselves. A central finding was that those officers who identified most strongly with peers also tended to report lower levels of alienation from the community groups. This finding, in conjunction with unremarkable levels of authoritarianism and perceived stress in the sample, challenges the stereotype of the ethnocentric, authoritarian, and stressed out police officer. Results are placed within a novel framework for understanding the police solidarity phenomenon, and implications for police-community relations are discussed.