Subterranean Processes in the Maintenance of Power: An Examination of the Mechanisms Coordinating police Action
This paper begins with the observation that the legal system in liberal democracies, despite its egalitarian ideals, is used as resource in political conflict to maintain structures of dominance. It then draws attention to the theoretical requirement to identify the specific mechanisms that provide for this persistent and systematic institutional hypocrisy. Within this theoretical context, the police subculture is identified as a lay social theory which serves to direct working policemen in their selection of candidates for criminalization and in their use of the law to initiate this process. Both the critical features of the police subculture and its relationship to the social structures within which police operate are considered.