Staging ‘White Maleness’ with Cops: A Diversity Training Case Analysis



Date of this version


Document Type

Book Chapter


diversity, training, police


It has been argued that the growth of the cultural diversity training movement is rooted in tension between the police and minority communities (Barlow & Barlow, 1993, p. 69). The Kerner Commission Report of 1968, arising from a study of urban riots in the United States, suggested that the police needed to receive training to better understand ghettos in order to respond to the demands for protection and service with minimum increases in hostility and tension between the police and those who live there (Kerner, 1968, p. 14). After the 1981 Brixton riots in Britain, Lord Scarman noted a loss of confidence in the police and mistrust in their methods and advocated the recruiting of more minority officers as well as changes in training that emphasized police recruits better understanding the attitudes and cultural backgrounds of those from different ethnic backgrounds (Scarman, 1981). Throughout the early 1990s, police organizations called upon police departments to increase or initiate training focused on “cultural bias” or “cultural diversity awareness” training. Public scrutiny-especially as voiced in the U.S. community and media criticism of alleged racial profiling-was frequent in the late twentieth century and has maintained high visibility as minority communities continue to articulate the perceptions of police misconduct that are shaped by race, media, and personal experiences (Weitzer & Tuch, 2002, pp. 307-309).

Published in

Change and Reform in Law Enforcement: Old and New Efforts from Across the Globe

Citation/Other Information

DeMeester, D., & LaMagdeleine, D. R. (2016). Staging ‘white maleness’ with cops: A diversity training case analysis. In S. W. Phillips & D. K. Das (Eds.), Change and reform in law enforcement: Old and new efforts from across the globe (pp. 87-109). Boca Raton, FL: SRC Press.