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PROFESSIONAL ANOMALIES: DIVERSITY POLICIES POLICING ETHNIC MINORITY POLICE OFFICERS

 

Çankaya, S. (2015) Professional Anomalies: Diversity policies policing ethnic minority police officers. European Journal of Policing Studies 2(4): 383-404

 

Click here for the article: Cankaya EJOPS

 

ABSTRACT

This paper discusses how diversity policies within organizations contribute to paradoxical outcomes in face-to-face interactions. The findings are the result of a long-term ethnographic study on the processes of in- and exclusion of ethnic minority police officers in the Netherlands between 2007-2011. Since the 1980s the Dutch police struggle both in terms of recruitment and retention of ethnic minorities. Various policy measures have been taken since then. The main argument is that diversity policies construct and perpetuate ethnic differences. This discourse impacts processes of in- and exclusion in everyday interactions, increases ‘groupness’ and leads to dilemmas in ways of feeling and acting among ethnic minority police officers. In specific situations, the norm images of a ‘good’ police officer, such as integrity, solidarity and neutrality, diametrically clash with the ideal images within diversity policies. Paradoxically, diversity policies within the Dutch police context sustain everyday inequalities for ethnic minorities, while striving for equality.