Etnifierade polispraktiker : Hur etnicitet görs i polisers vardag

Sammanfattning: This thesis analyzes how ethnicity is accomplished in the work of Swedish police officers. It draws on ethnographic data from participant observations and field interviews in Malmö and its theoretical framework is primarily based on ethnomethodology. Police officers – and others in their environment – are found to employ ethnicity and invoke it into interactions in a variety of ways: 1) redefining police-citizen interactions in friendly directions, 2) ethnic profiling, 3) strengthening police control over citizens, 4) questioning police legitimacy, 5) offering accounts for deviant behavior, 6) creating in-group solidarity among police officers by way of distancing oneself from norms of “anti-racist political correctness”. These and other uses of ethnicity vary between the ‘frontstage’, where police officers encounter other people, and the ‘backstage’, where police officers interact with their peers. Police officers treat ethnicity with a great deal of sensitivity in the frontstage region, but they speak more freely about it, and adopt an ironic attitude towards “political correctness”, in the back stage region. Ethnicity is found to hold a certain form of social tension that requires the participants of a police interaction to manage and respond to it, sometimes in a postponed fashion where events are discussed at a later time. The study also highlights ethnicity’s place within police culture and police organization in a more general sense. The police adopt a social code that the study calls “ironic knighthood”, where they maintain various heraldic, authoritative and militaristic aspects of their culture and organization but add a humorous and ironic twist. Actively using ethnicity is integral to the interests and incentives of this code. It is argued that ethnicity cannot be removed from the everyday practices of the police, and that a more viable goal of a critical sociology is to seek to carefully describe ethnified police practices so that they can be reflected upon, problematized and developed.