A Theory That Builds Upon Conflict Theory

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One theory that builds upon Conflict Theory and can be used to help examine various unit and segment variations and can also help examine why some officers exhibit deviant behaviors and why other officers do not is Symbolic Interactionism. Using this theory, I will examine the police targeting of citizens, more specifically the politically ostracized, and the spatial and temporal contexts in which this specific targeting occurs. Symbolic Interactionism gives emphasis on the individual meanings and the influences that socialization has when explaining the micro or individual level on interactions between the police and the politically ostracized, which is vitally important to this police brutality examination. Since the sometimes-violent interactions between citizens and the police are shared, each party involved represents their own internalized image of the self and thus this internalized image come into play when both parties are engaged in interactions with one another. This idea of the “self”, which was first coined by Mead (1934), is highly influenced by the subjective individual interpretations and the “reflected appraisals” made by the two groups involved (Matsueda 1992:1577). This construction of ones self-identity is applied to the individual behaviors and interactions through “role taking, which consists of projecting oneself into the role of other persons and appraising, from their standpoint, the situation, oneself into the situation and possible lines of
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