Police in a Multicultural Society: An American Story by David E. Barlow, Melissa Hickman Barlow
495 pages, $54.95 list
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Police in a Multicultural Society
An American Story
Second Edition
Social, political, and economic relationships played key roles in the historical development of the police. The authors present policing strategies from the vantage points of marginalized communities and emphasize the intersection of attitudes about class, race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation with policies. Police practices cannot be class neutral in a class society, nor can they be race neutral or gender neutral in a racist, sexist, and heterosexist society. The key to understanding the relationship between the police and society is to think critically about the role of power and interests.

The second edition includes a new chapter in the section on the police and rebellion covering recent events. There is also a new chapter on Latino/a police officers and an expanded chapter on LGBTQ police officers.

Without meaningful social change toward greater justice, police reforms such as community policing and training in cultural diversity will fall short of creating an institution characterized by fairness and equality for all members of society. A clear view of history is essential for understanding the challenges a more diverse police force faces in today’s multicultural environment.
“Drs. Barlow and Hickman-Barlow have published a fantastic book that encapsulates the diversity of issues around multiculturalism and policing in a racialized, gendered, and classist society. This book is masterfully grounded in both historical and contemporary contexts, citing several relevant examples that serve as deeply critical implications for today’s issues around policing. The controversies covered in the book are sure to engender robust class dialogue. This book is a must use for anyone teaching current issues in policing or similar courses.” — Jason M. Williams, Montclair State University

“Barlow and Barlow have written the definitive text on American policing. It provides readers a detailed, informative, and well-documented discussion of the nation’s history of policing and then uses that erudite and well-written scholarly analysis to provide refreshingly new insights into the turbulent events of today. It is a must-read for students and scholars alike.” — Darnell Hawkins, University of Illinois at Chicago

“For justice to be sustainable, injustices must be exposed and transformed. Being a law enforcement officer requires thinking outside of the box. Every police officer, every police executive, every mayor, every governor, every legislator, and every policy maker needs to read this insightful book and determine ‘whether the role of the police is one we can live with—both materially and morally.’ Policing in a Multicultural Society is an American story and a must read.” — W. Wesley Johnson, University of Southern Mississippi
Table of Contents
1. Multiple Perspectives on the Role of Police
2. A Historical Analysis of Municipal Policing in the United States

3. Underpolicing
4. Overpolicing
5. Police-Community Relations Programs

6. Early Rebellions
7. Agitation versus Accommodation
8. Modern Urban Rebellions
9. Rebellion in Los Angeles, 1992
10. Black Lives Matter

11. Native American Police Officers
12. African American Police Officers
13. Latino/a Police Officers
14. Women Police Officers
15. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Police Officers

Afterword: Police and Society