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Police Culture in a Changing World$
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Bethan Loftus

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560905.001.0001

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Dominant Culture Interrupted

Dominant Culture Interrupted

(p.51) 3 Dominant Culture Interrupted
Police Culture in a Changing World

Bethan Loftus

Oxford University Press

This chapter tracks the ways in which Northshire Police developed policies aimed at managing the contemporary demands of greater diversity. It explores how the extension of recognition for minority groups has shaped the police‧s interior culture through examining the ways in which such efforts resonate within the occupational ideologies of officers working inside the organization. In so doing, two broad and opposing perspectives on the working environment are presented. The first is characterized by resistance and resentment towards the institutionalization of diversity, and is articulated principally by white, heterosexual, male officers. A contrasting standpoint, held by female, minority ethnic, and gay and lesbian officers, reveals the persistence of a dominant white, heterosexist, male culture. In order to understand this tension, the chapter argues that the narratives of decline and discontent articulated by the adherents of the former operate to subordinate the spaces of representation for emerging identities and aim to preserve an increasingly endangered culture. It is clearly shown from the narratives presented that the extension of recognition for hitherto marginalized groups sits uneasily within the culture of the ordinary rank and file.

Keywords:   Northshire Police, diversity, police officers, ethnicity, culture

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