Dixon of Doxa Green: A double hermeneutic investigation into police culture and professional identity

Research Institution / Organisation

University Of Gloucestershire

Principal Researcher

John Clay-Davies

Level of Research

PhD

Project Start Date

May 2017

Research Context

Research into graduate-skills in policing is of growing importance. The College of Policing recently reached the view that a Level 6 qualification (degree or equivalent) is an appropriate reflection of demand on constables, stressing the value of graduate-level skills in the workplace in the process.

The experience of graduate-skilled police officers in the workplace is an important, but under-researched aspect of police professionalisation. The College of Policing aspires to attract recruits with graduate-skills into policing, “…the most successful graduates who can bring diversity of thought and perspective into policing”.

This research will explore the lived experience of graduate-level junior police officers in the workplace, with the aim of assessing the impact of police culture on their professional identities.

Draft research, aim, objectives and questions:

Research Aim / Purpose:

  1. To investigate the impact of police culture on the professional identities of graduate-skilled junior police officers.

Research Objectives:

  1. To explore the professional identities of graduate-skilled junior police officers within the context of the existing discourse surrounding police culture and police professionalization.
  2. To elicit graduate-skilled junior police officer perceptions and sensibilities of policing culture experienced inside and outside the workplace.
  3. To investigate the impact of police culture on the professional identities of graduate-skilled junior police officers and consider the implications for policing as a graduate-level profession.

Research Questions:

  1. How do graduate-skilled junior police officer expressions of professional identity correlate with the discourse surrounding police culture and professionalism?
  2. How do graduate-skilled junior police officers perceive and make sense of the police culture they experience inside and outside of the workplace?
  3. To what extent does police culture impact upon the professional identities of graduate-skilled junior police officers, and what are the implications for policing as a graduate-level profession?

Research Methodology

​The research is camped in a constructionist epistemology, employing an interpretive theoretical perspective. Interpretative phenomenological analysis will be used to express the professional identities of graduate-level junior police officers and their lived-experiences in the workplace.

Bourdieu’s Field Theory will be used as a framework for the interpretation and analysis of gathered data.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

May 2020
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