Nina Müller
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Negotiating with ethnic diversity
Perceptions and patterns in everyday police work in Germany
in Policing race, ethnicity and culture
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Migration to Germany has profoundly affected the demographics of the country. This has implications for state institutions, whose positioning on issues such as diversity and self-perception and perception of others is problematised. The police present an interesting case to analyse: they are the most visible representative of the state in daily life and in everyday interactions with people. Also as an employer of the state, the police is the addressee of integration efforts, insofar as an increasing number of police officers now have a so-called ‘migration background’. This chapter presents initial empirical findings from an interdisciplinary research project which focuses on the organisational design of the police, its personnel and diversity management, the interactions between citizens and police officers, and their organisational culture in Germany since 2018. The ethnographic part of the project deals with the mutual relations and interactions between police officers and citizens in metropolitan neighbourhoods characterised by ethnically and culturally diverse structures. By examining everyday working life in four neighbourhoods in the federal states of Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, we are investigating the extent to which the migration background of individuals – both police officers and citizens – affects the way they interact with each other in order to grasp what patterns of perception, interpretation and behaviour exist in the different locations. Settings such as proactively or reactively stimulated encounters on the street and within the police station are the focus. We also explore how individual and institutional practices are developed and transmitted within police personnel.

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Policing race, ethnicity and culture

Ethnographic perspectives across Europe


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