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“They’re supposed to be public servants, not public killers”: A Discourse Analysis of African and Caribbean male’s constructions of the Police.

Sampson, Sirena Ava (2017) “They’re supposed to be public servants, not public killers”: A Discourse Analysis of African and Caribbean male’s constructions of the Police. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The present study provides bottom-up insight into police relations with young African and Caribbean males. In doing so, the study adopts a critical realist approach by employing a discourse analysis, challenging traditional social psychology. The research focused on six young males of African and Caribbean descent from the city of Manchester in the UK. Using semi-structured interviews to capture participant’s accounts, three significant discourses emerged from their constructions of the police and their relationship with young African and Caribbean males. This included, the Jekll and Hyde duality, where participants characterise the police as having a ‘supposed’ (good) and ‘real’ (bad) identity. ‘Black boys’ and accountability, where participants held their own community as responsible for their stigmatisation, and the individualising discourse where participants argued that the police were individuals and blamed the generalisation of the police as prejudice on the ‘rotten apples’ (Scarman, 1981:6-74)-in the force.

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