Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Jenkins, Pamela

Second Advisor

Gunter, Valerie

Third Advisor

Baxter, Vern


What are the effects of profiling a minority group? I propose that being profiled lowers an individual's opinions of police as well as harms the police-community relationship. I analyze the results of a snowball sample consisting of qualitative interviews of six young African American males who think they have been racially profiled. The interviews were conducted in 2003 and 2004. A look at the process of racial profiling is included, and several explanations for law enforcement behavior emerged out of the interviews, including ideas of black criminality, acceptance, disrespect, and the presence of window tint. Furthermore, several significant effects emerged including a lowering of opinion on law enforcement, the detailing of a tension between citizens and police, and an analysis of respondent views on the quality of policing. The respondent beliefs about the importance of race and image symbols as well as neighborhood context as determinants of police attention also emerged. The results illustrate that there are several significant drawbacks to the practice of racially profiling young African American men.


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