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Intersectional Inequality: An Analysis of Police Culture in a Western Canadian City

  • Author / Creator
    Yankey, Manzah-Kyentoh, Akuba
  • Despite the plethora of research on police culture, few studies have examined police culture from an intersectional approach. To provide more intersectional research on police culture, I conducted 16 semi-structured interviews with women police officers from a police organization in Alberta to explore how they perceive and experience police culture. I find that women police officers witness and/or experience three types of workplace violence: physical violence; bullying, harassment, and intimidation; and lateral violence. Black women, Biracial (Indigenous/white) women, white women and LBGTQ2SIA+ white women report having to deescalate violent situations whenever police officers, predominantly men, commit acts of physical violence on members of the public. Black women, Biracial (Indigenous/white) women, white women and white LGBTQ2SIA+ women police officers reported experiencing various forms of bullying, harassment, and intimidation, including misogynoir, race, and gender-based harassment, sexual harassment, and homophobia. Women also report women partaking in lateral violence by competing and sabotaging other women to advance their career. I also found that anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, and xenophobia is major problem in police culture. Many examples of racism in police culture included police officers saying racist jokes on-duty and in the office; physically abusing, racially profiling, and harassing Indigenous peoples, including those experiencing homelessness; anti-Black racism in homicide investigations and officers shouting racist and xenophobic slurs at refugees. Although white women were more likely than women of colour to acknowledge systemic racism in policing, they often used colourblind interpretations to underestimate the existence of racism in police culture.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-11am-zy43
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.