Jérémie Gauthier
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Jacques de Maillard
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Police racism in France and Germany
Occupational socialisation and institutional guidelines
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Our chapter aims to contribute to the topic of police racism by showing how the dynamics of racialisation and racism are rooted both in the occupational experiences of French and German police officers and in their ways of describing reality. Based on data collected through several observational and/or interview-based studies conducted among police forces in France and Germany, our chapter follows the footsteps of a body of research that considers police occupational socialisation as the main variable explaining how police officers may embrace and pass on racialised patterns of perception. We make a distinction between racialisation, whose underlying logic is the production of racial hierarchies and the attribution of social and behavioural features to certain categories of the population (in the present case ethnic/racial minorities), and racism, defined as one specific instance of racialisation characterised by the hostile stereotyping of said categories, what we call the ‘temptation of racism’. Despite these shared patterns, the practices of police forces differ, as German police officers tend to be less prone to discrimination than their French counterparts. To explain this discrepancy, we shall see that institutional authorities differ significantly in terms of how they address the question of racism, both in their discourse and in their management methods, or even in the prioritisation of police tasks.

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Policing race, ethnicity and culture

Ethnographic perspectives across Europe


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