Citizens' Preferences about Police Work: An Argument for Racial Variations

Citizens' Preferences about Police Work: An Argument for Racial Variations

Citizens' Preferences about Police Work: An Argument for Racial Variations

Citizens' Preferences about Police Work: An Argument for Racial Variations

Synopsis

Nation expands the literature on citizens' attitudes toward the police by considering citizens' preferences for police work. She argues that citizens' preferences can partly explain racial variations in citizens' attitudes toward the police. The complexity of police work requires the conceptualization of two key terms 'citizens' preferences and police work and has added new ideas to the attitudinal literature. Nation's work furthers policing research by showing that there are racial differences in preferences for police work. Additionally, the introduction of both expectancy disconfirmation theory and organizational theory as viable theoretical frameworks that support the relevance of citizens' preferences and the relationship to citizens' attitudes and satisfaction, add new theoretical areas to explore.

Excerpt

Do Black and White citizens have different attitudes toward the police? Does degree of satisfaction with the police vary between these two groups? Prior research reveals disparities between whites and minority group members in their attitudes towards the police, with minorities holding less favorable attitudes and being less satisfied with the police (Bayley & Mendelsohn, 1969; Brown & Benedict, 2002; Carter, 1985; Decker, 1981; Huang & Vaughn, 1996; Smith, 2005; Tuch & Weitzer, 1997). The narrow understanding of the relationship between race and citizens’ attitudes and satisfaction is a troubling dilemma in the literature. The findings of differences with no apparent explanation continue to characterize this area of the policing research. An important question that must be explored in the research to move the research further is, why Blacks and Whites have different assessments of the police, that is, why would race explain attitudinal differences? The current body of policing research on citizens’ attitudes and satisfaction with the police has yet to . . .

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