Comparing U.S. and European Police Subcultures: A Field Study

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1 Scopus citations


This article is a satire of sociology and field anthropology research on comparative police behavior; it uses humorous anecdotes to make a serious point. The author argues that until police supervision is undertaken by civilian review boards, police behavior will never conform to community morality despite attempts at police reform. To support this argument, the author compares U.S., German, Italian, Russian, and French police subcultures in an attempt to calculate (a) the correlation between police behavior and its conformity to community morality, and (b) whether a high correlation results from a high degree of civilian oversight. The author concludes that, because no country has appreciable civilian oversight, and because the police of no country conform to community morality, there is therefore a perfect correlation between lack of civilian oversight and lack of police conformity to community morality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-209
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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