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Officers as Mirrors: Policing, Procedural Justice and the (Re)Production of Social Identity

24 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2013  

Ben Bradford

University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology

Kristina Murphy

Griffith University

Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology

Date Written: October 9, 2013

Abstract

People’s encounters with the criminal justice system can powerfully shape both their sense of self and their sense of belonging. In this paper we focus on the effect experiences of policing may have on people’s identities. A representative panel survey of Australians provides the most convincing evidence yet that social identity (here, identifying oneself as a ‘law-abiding Australian’) is an important mechanism linking procedural justice to police legitimacy. When people feel fairly treated, their sense of identification with the group the police represent seems to be enhanced, strengthening police legitimacy as a result; but unfair treatment, which indicates to people that they do not belong, may undermine such identification and damage police legitimacy.

Keywords: Police; procedural justice; legitimacy; social identity.

Suggested Citation

Bradford, Ben and Murphy, Kristina and Jackson, Jonathan, Officers as Mirrors: Policing, Procedural Justice and the (Re)Production of Social Identity (October 9, 2013). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 86/2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2337913 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2337913

Ben Bradford (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Kristina Murphy

Griffith University ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+0044-207-955-7652 (Phone)

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