Policing gender diversity: perceptions of intergroup difference between police and transgender people

Miles-Johnson, Toby (2013). Policing gender diversity: perceptions of intergroup difference between police and transgender people PhD Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author Miles-Johnson, Toby
Thesis Title Policing gender diversity: perceptions of intergroup difference between police and transgender people
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Lorraine Mazerolle
Total pages 280
Total colour pages 21
Total black and white pages 259
Language eng
Subjects 1602 Criminology
1701 Psychology
1699 Other Studies in Human Society
Abstract/Summary The social discrimination of Transgender people occurs frequently. Many Transgender people report incidents of ridicule or embarrassment when interacting with police due to their difference in gender identity or expression. Previous research indicates that the relationship between police and the Transgender community in Australia is problematic, with Transgender people reporting low levels of confidence in the police. This research uses Social Identity Theory (SIT) (Tajfel, 1972) to investigate the dynamics that generate tension between police and transgender people. SIT suggests that an individual’s self-concept, which is derived from perceived membership of social groups, influences their social identity (Hogg & Vaughan, 2002). SIT is used to explore how police contact/experience with Transgender people shapes police perceptions and attitudes towards Transgender people. I also explore how Transgender peoples’ contact/experience with police influences their perceptions of the police and intergroup identity. The study investigates perceptions of intergroup difference between Transgender people and the police in one Australian state. The project uses four different research methodologies: (1) content analysis of a de-identified Australian police agency’s policy document on operational procedures for Transgender people; (2) analysis of de-identified field notes (participant observation) examining a Transgender training program for police officers (from one Australian police organisation); (3) an online survey conducted with Transgender people; (4) semi-structured in-depth interviews regarding Transgender peoples’ perceptions of police. My research found that intergroup differences do shape Transgender peoples’ perceptions of police interaction, police engagement, and police legitimacy. In addition, negative perceptions of Transgender people shape police officer attitudes towards interaction and engagement with Transgender people. The results offer insights into the impact of formal and informal policing practices on Transgender people, and the subsequent intergroup identity differences such procedures generate. The results also provide support for the idea that if Transgender people experience forms of police contact that are judged as fair and unbiased, this will diminish negative perceptions of intergroup difference, which exist between Transgender people and police.
Keyword Police
Social identity
Police legitimacy
Police community engagement
Community cooperation
Transgender community

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Created: Thu, 21 Mar 2013, 16:42:15 EST by Toby Miles-johnson on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service