Monday, January 24, 2011

Civil Rights Act

I propose to examine the extent to which demographic changes occurred in police forces throughout the United States after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as subsequent legislation protecting the rights of minorities and women in the workplace.  In this course of study, I will first establish the normal demographic composition of police forces prior to the enactment of said legislation; this will demonstrate the lack of racial diversity and gender parity in the years prior thereto.  Then I will consider data relating to the demographics of police forces in the period thereafter, with a focus on the rates at which police forces in various parts of the country saw increased diversity and gender parity—and what their composition came to look like as these trends began to take effect.  Having established the nature of said trends, I will then consider how these necessitated changes in the management of personnel in precincts across the country, as an institution that was once the exclusive province of white males evolved into one whose demographics more accurately reflected the make-up of American society and adjusted its culture accordingly.  I am particularly interested in whatever conflicts these demographic changes might have produced as they began to manifest themselves.  Finally, I will investigate how local communities reacted to the demographically reconstituted police forces.

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