Policing as Myth: Narrative and Integral Approaches to Police Identity and Culture

David R Champion


The role of police in US society remains a topic of ongoing controversy and discussion in both field literature and popular media. The multiple roles of police officers span from coercive instruments of social control (backed by state-sanctioned powers to use force), to suppressors of crime and disorder, to agents of social service and community assistance. Police culture and identity is discussed here as functions of persistent myths and archetypes as filtered through Graves, Beck and Cowan’s Spiral Dynamics theory of development. In addition, Wilber’s Integral meta-theory and elements of narrative psychology serve as appropriate theoretical mechanisms to organize and examine the roots and characteristics of police identity and culture.

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International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory | ISSN : 1916-2782