From Institutionalized Othering to Disruptive Collaboration: A Postcolonial Analysis of the Police Force in Greenland

Lotte Holck, Sara Louise Muhr*

*Kontaktforfatter af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the construction and everyday maintenance of racialized psychological borders in the Greenlandic Police Force reproduce a postcolonial hierarchy of knowledge, where Danish knowledge and perceptions of professionalism are constructed as superior to Greenlandic knowledge and perceptions of professionalism.
Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on an ethnographic study comprising 5 days of observation of a training course for Danish police officers going to Greenland on summer assistance, 13 days of observation of police work in Greenland, 2 days of participatory observation of a leadership development seminar in Greenland, 26 interviews conducted in Denmark and Greenland with both Danish and Greenlandic officers and interventions in Denmark and Greenland.
Findings: The racialized borders create strong perceptions of “us” and “them”, which are maintained and reinforced through everyday work practices. The borders have damaging effects on the way police officers collaborate in Greenland and as the borders are maintained through (often implicit) everyday micro-processes, management has difficulty dealing with it. However, the way the racialized borders became visible through this research project created an awareness of – and sparked conversation about – the colonial stereotypes that have constructed and reinforce the borders. This awareness opens up possibilities of collaborative disruption of those borders.
Research limitations/implications: The paper shows how racialized borders limit the way professionalism is understood in the Greenlandic Police Force. But it also shows that, because these borders are socially constructed, they can be contested. Making the implicit everyday discrimination explicit through vignettes, for example, offers the chance to contest and disrupt the colonial hierarchy otherwise deeply embedded in the work practices of the police force.
Originality/value: Thanks to unique access to Greenland’s police force, this paper offers exclusive in-depth insights into current processes of racialization and colonialization in a contemporary colonial relationship.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
Antal sider21
ISSN2040-7149
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 5 okt. 2019

Bibliografisk note

Epub ahead of print. Published online 5 October 2019

Emneord

  • Colonialism
  • Professionalism
  • Racialization
  • Multicultural collaboration
  • Police work

Citer dette

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title = "From Institutionalized Othering to Disruptive Collaboration: A Postcolonial Analysis of the Police Force in Greenland",
abstract = "Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the construction and everyday maintenance of racialized psychological borders in the Greenlandic Police Force reproduce a postcolonial hierarchy of knowledge, where Danish knowledge and perceptions of professionalism are constructed as superior to Greenlandic knowledge and perceptions of professionalism.Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on an ethnographic study comprising 5 days of observation of a training course for Danish police officers going to Greenland on summer assistance, 13 days of observation of police work in Greenland, 2 days of participatory observation of a leadership development seminar in Greenland, 26 interviews conducted in Denmark and Greenland with both Danish and Greenlandic officers and interventions in Denmark and Greenland. Findings: The racialized borders create strong perceptions of “us” and “them”, which are maintained and reinforced through everyday work practices. The borders have damaging effects on the way police officers collaborate in Greenland and as the borders are maintained through (often implicit) everyday micro-processes, management has difficulty dealing with it. However, the way the racialized borders became visible through this research project created an awareness of – and sparked conversation about – the colonial stereotypes that have constructed and reinforce the borders. This awareness opens up possibilities of collaborative disruption of those borders. Research limitations/implications: The paper shows how racialized borders limit the way professionalism is understood in the Greenlandic Police Force. But it also shows that, because these borders are socially constructed, they can be contested. Making the implicit everyday discrimination explicit through vignettes, for example, offers the chance to contest and disrupt the colonial hierarchy otherwise deeply embedded in the work practices of the police force. Originality/value: Thanks to unique access to Greenland’s police force, this paper offers exclusive in-depth insights into current processes of racialization and colonialization in a contemporary colonial relationship.",
keywords = "Colonialism, Professionalism, Racialization, Multicultural collaboration, Police work, Colonialism, Professionalism, Racialization, Multicultural collaboration, Police work",
author = "Lotte Holck and Muhr, {Sara Louise}",
note = "Epub ahead of print. Published online 5 October 2019",
year = "2019",
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doi = "10.1108/EDI-01-2018-0018",
language = "English",
journal = "Equality, Diversity and Inclusion",
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T2 - A Postcolonial Analysis of the Police Force in Greenland

AU - Holck, Lotte

AU - Muhr, Sara Louise

N1 - Epub ahead of print. Published online 5 October 2019

PY - 2019/10/5

Y1 - 2019/10/5

N2 - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the construction and everyday maintenance of racialized psychological borders in the Greenlandic Police Force reproduce a postcolonial hierarchy of knowledge, where Danish knowledge and perceptions of professionalism are constructed as superior to Greenlandic knowledge and perceptions of professionalism.Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on an ethnographic study comprising 5 days of observation of a training course for Danish police officers going to Greenland on summer assistance, 13 days of observation of police work in Greenland, 2 days of participatory observation of a leadership development seminar in Greenland, 26 interviews conducted in Denmark and Greenland with both Danish and Greenlandic officers and interventions in Denmark and Greenland. Findings: The racialized borders create strong perceptions of “us” and “them”, which are maintained and reinforced through everyday work practices. The borders have damaging effects on the way police officers collaborate in Greenland and as the borders are maintained through (often implicit) everyday micro-processes, management has difficulty dealing with it. However, the way the racialized borders became visible through this research project created an awareness of – and sparked conversation about – the colonial stereotypes that have constructed and reinforce the borders. This awareness opens up possibilities of collaborative disruption of those borders. Research limitations/implications: The paper shows how racialized borders limit the way professionalism is understood in the Greenlandic Police Force. But it also shows that, because these borders are socially constructed, they can be contested. Making the implicit everyday discrimination explicit through vignettes, for example, offers the chance to contest and disrupt the colonial hierarchy otherwise deeply embedded in the work practices of the police force. Originality/value: Thanks to unique access to Greenland’s police force, this paper offers exclusive in-depth insights into current processes of racialization and colonialization in a contemporary colonial relationship.

AB - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the construction and everyday maintenance of racialized psychological borders in the Greenlandic Police Force reproduce a postcolonial hierarchy of knowledge, where Danish knowledge and perceptions of professionalism are constructed as superior to Greenlandic knowledge and perceptions of professionalism.Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on an ethnographic study comprising 5 days of observation of a training course for Danish police officers going to Greenland on summer assistance, 13 days of observation of police work in Greenland, 2 days of participatory observation of a leadership development seminar in Greenland, 26 interviews conducted in Denmark and Greenland with both Danish and Greenlandic officers and interventions in Denmark and Greenland. Findings: The racialized borders create strong perceptions of “us” and “them”, which are maintained and reinforced through everyday work practices. The borders have damaging effects on the way police officers collaborate in Greenland and as the borders are maintained through (often implicit) everyday micro-processes, management has difficulty dealing with it. However, the way the racialized borders became visible through this research project created an awareness of – and sparked conversation about – the colonial stereotypes that have constructed and reinforce the borders. This awareness opens up possibilities of collaborative disruption of those borders. Research limitations/implications: The paper shows how racialized borders limit the way professionalism is understood in the Greenlandic Police Force. But it also shows that, because these borders are socially constructed, they can be contested. Making the implicit everyday discrimination explicit through vignettes, for example, offers the chance to contest and disrupt the colonial hierarchy otherwise deeply embedded in the work practices of the police force. Originality/value: Thanks to unique access to Greenland’s police force, this paper offers exclusive in-depth insights into current processes of racialization and colonialization in a contemporary colonial relationship.

KW - Colonialism

KW - Professionalism

KW - Racialization

KW - Multicultural collaboration

KW - Police work

KW - Colonialism

KW - Professionalism

KW - Racialization

KW - Multicultural collaboration

KW - Police work

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DO - 10.1108/EDI-01-2018-0018

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JO - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

JF - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

SN - 2040-7149

ER -