ATTITUDES TOWARDS IMMIGRANTS: CLASSICAL AND MODERN PREJUDICE HELD BY THE POLICE

Andre Vella

Dissertation submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Psychology (HON)

University of Malta April 2010

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Declaration

I hereby declare that this dissertation is entirely my own work, carried out under the supervision of Dr. Marilyn Clark.

_____________ Andre Vella April 2010

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the following persons for contributing to this paper: My tutor, Dr. Marilyn Clark, for her expertise of the social sciences and encouragement throughout the course of writing this dissertation. Dr. Liberato Camilleri for helping with the statistical analysis which found itself on his desk. And my father for proofreading this thesis repeatedly.

In loving memory of Carmel and Margaret Vella, may you find peace.

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Abstract
Research on prejudice and discrimination distinguishes between modern (inconspicuous and tends to be more socially accepted) and classical (old-fashioned blatant) prejudice (Sears, 1988). This study aims to distinguish between these two forms of prejudice elicited by the police towards immigrants. The correlation between modern and classical prejudice will be investigated. It will also explore whether variables such as rank, gender, age and experience in the Police Force influence prejudice. The police officers' perceptions were measured through a standardized research tool adapted from Akrami et al. (2005) where that study sought to research the attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities. In this case, the research tool was adapted to the Maltese police force’s perception towards another minority group, i.e. immigrants. The participants were given the questionnaires at their corresponding police station in nine districts around Malta. Results obtained support the hypothesis that modern and classical forms of prejudice are correlated but distinguishable. Moreover, the variables did not prove significant, suggesting that the Maltese police force is a homogenous group and the existence of a police subculture. Keywords: Malta, police, prejudice, racism, immigrants

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Table of Contents
Declaration of Authenticity Acknowledgements Abstract Contents ii iii iv v

Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Preamble 1.2 Research Agenda and Hypothesis 1.3 Rationale 1.4 Methodology 1.5 Overview of chapters

1 1 2 3 3 4

Chapter 2: Literature Review 2.1 Prejudice, Stereotypes and Discrimination 2.2 Understanding Attitudes, Prejudice and Stereotyping 2.2.1 Social Learning Theory 2.2.2 Social Cognitive Perspective 2.2.3 Social Dominance Theory 2.2.4 Authoritarian Personality 2.2.5 Modern and Classical Prejudice 2.3 Police Culture and Immigration 2.3.1 Racial discrimination in the Maltese Criminal Code

5 5 8 8 10 10 12 13 15 16

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2.4 Conclusion

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Chapter 3: Methodology 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Approach 3.3 Research Tool 3.4 Sampling 3.5 Procedure 3.6 Analysis 3.7 Ethics 3.8 Conclusion 18 18 18 19 19 20 20 21

Chapter 4: Results 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Sample Population 4.3 Comparison of Attitudes on Modern and Classical Prejudice 4.4 Correlation between Classical Prejudice and Modern Prejudice 4.5 Correlation between the 3 components of Modern Prejudice 4.6 Gender and Prejudice 4.7 Age and Prejudice 4.8 The Influence of Rank 4.9 Length Experience in the Police Force 4.10 District Differences

22 22 23 27 29 31 32 34 35 36 37

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Chapter 5: Discussion 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Of Modern Prejudice and Police Culture 5.3 Conclusion

40 40 40 44

Chapter 6: Conclusion 6.1 Summary of the Study 6.2 Limitations of the Study 6.3 Recommendations for Further Research 6.4 Final Note

45 45 45 46 46

References

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Appendix

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List of Tables
Table 1 Gender, Age, Rank, Years in the police Force and District descriptive statistics 23 Table 2 Correlation between Classical and Modern prejudice Table 3 Correlations between the 3 components of Modern prejudice Table 4 Correlations between gender and prejudice Table 5 Correlations between age and prejudice Table 6 Correlations between rank and prejudice Table 7 Correlations between years in the police force and prejudice Table 8 Correlations between districts and prejudice 30 31 32 34 35 36 37

List of Graphs
Figure 1 Gender Figure 2 Age Figure 3 Rank Figure 4 Experience in the Police Force Figure 5 Districts in Malta Figure 6 Mean Rating Scores of Classical Prejudice Items Figure 7 Mean rating scores of Classical Prejudice Items Figure 8 Scatter plot representation Figure 9 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to gender Figure 10 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to age Figure 11 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to rank Figure 12 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to years in the police force Figure 13 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to district 24 25 25 26 26 27 28 30 33 34 35 36 38

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Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Preamble

Prejudice is a complicated term, which holds much political baggage, as it is often used to imply a negative human trait. Prejudice is nothing more than an ill-directed preconception about human nature, and nothing less than a demeaning attitude borne of irrational hostility. Usually, it is minority groups who suffer from the effects of prejudice, since these are perceived as a threat to dominant culture. Research relating to prejudice is a pressing necessity today. Paradoxically this is also a topic of study we all fervently hope will no longer be needed (Taylor, 1994). Humanity has a tendency to repeat its mistakes continuously in history, a Sisyphusian task with no end, and the eradication of prejudice seems hopeless and impossible to achieve. The absurdity does not lie in vainly attempting to push the rock of prejudice over the hill, but in consciously finding the burden again at the foot of the mountain. Yet as Albert Camus puts it, the resilient effort of studying prejudice to lessen its impact has its own quality, especially in trying to reduce, or even eliminate prejudice at its source within the bigot (Camus, 1942; Dion, 2003). Research shows that prejudice may be divided in two; Classical prejudice is characterised by openness and an overt nature. It is easily observed, for example through racial profiling or an open resentment of interracial marriages. Modern prejudice is more inconspicuous, as if it is secret and hidden. People who deny the existence of prejudice when it is present are giving an example of modern prejudice. This study will attempt to show that these two types of prejudice are intricately connected to the extent that they cannot be separated. Considering the police force is responsible for upholding the law in all parts of society, it would be interesting to investigate if police officers hold

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prejudiced sentiments, and whether these are classified as classical or modern. Thus the police are the main subject of this study.

1.2 Research Agenda and Hypothesis

The present research will explore whether the members of the Malta Police Force exhibit classical or modern prejudice towards immigrants, and whether these attitudes are correlated. It will also explore whether variables such as rank, gender, age and experience in the Police Force are significant in the expression (if any) of prejudice. The results obtained will accept or reject the research hypotheses. The null hypothesis (H0) states that there will be no significant difference, and therefore the observed changes can be attributed to chance alone (Coleman, 2001). The hypotheses tested are the following:

1. There will be significant difference between classical prejudice rating scores and modern prejudice scores. 2. There will be significant difference between the three components of modern prejudice: denial of continuing prejudice, antagonism towards minority groups’ demands and resentment about special favours. 3. There will be significant difference between the male and female police officer mean rating scores. 4. There will be significant differences between the mean rating scores of different age groups. 5. There will be significant difference between the mean rating score of constables and that of higher-ranking officers mean rating scores.

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6. There will be significant differences between the mean rating scores of police officers, according to the amount of years working in the police force. 7. There will be significant differences between the mean rating scores of different districts.

1.3 Rationale

The context of Maltese culture is stained by racist attitudes towards immigrants coming from Africa (Abela, 1999; Halel, 2001). Yet the reasons for these attitudes differ depending on the individual holding them. Police officers may too experience prejudiced beliefs, and this study was meant to provide insight into this cognitive conflict of upholding the law and treating citizens equally whilst holding these prejudiced attitudes.

As old-fashioned prejudice is frowned upon in contemporary Western culture, the same bigoted attitudes are being vented out through modern prejudice. This study aims to distinguish between classical and modern prejudice, and to analyze the characteristics which influence attitude rating scores, such as gender, age and rank of the Maltese police force. There is a limitless amount of literature on the subject of racism or prejudice in relation to the police, and most of it points towards a racist element within the police force (Chu, Song & Dombrink, 2005; Colman, 1983; Sigelman, Welch, Bledsoe, Combs, 1997). Thus this study explores the attitudes held by the police of Malta.

1.4 Methodology

This is a quantitative study, in which a self-report attitude scale with a Likert scoring system was administered to the nine districts in Malta. The research tool is an adaptation of Akrami et al.’s (2005)

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where that study sought to investigate the attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities. In this case, the research tool was used to investigate the police force’s perception toward another minority group, i.e. immigrants.

Not all police officers participated in the study, and obtaining the full register of officers was not permitted by the authorities. The Maltese police force comprises of 1871 officers. Around 400 questionnaires were distributed in police stations of each district and in the General Headquarters (GHQ). 186 questionnaires were collected, including officers who have desk-jobs at the GHQ, those assigned to specialised divisions (such as Traffic and Vice Squad) and others assigned to local police station duties. However a sampling error could be present due to the fact that sampling was not statistically random. The non-probability sampling technique used is identified primarily by convenience, as the police officers participated on a voluntary basis. The advantage of this method is that since police officers participated on a voluntary basis, the responses elicited tend to be more accurate, although the social desirability effect is always present.

1.5 Overview of chapters

Chapter 2 will encompass the literature review on the subject of prejudice and some explanations of these expressed attitudes in relation to the criminal justice system. Chapter 3 explores the methodology adopted in the study. The results will be presented in chapter 4. Chapter 5 consists of the discussion. Chapter 6 is the conclusion, and includes recommendations for research and policy.

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Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Prejudice, Stereotypes and Discrimination

Prejudice exists in a variety of forms; against women, LGBT, foreigners and disabled people amongst others. Prejudice is defined as a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation, an attitude (usually negative) towards members of some group, based solely on their membership of that group (Baron, Byrne & Johnson, 1998; Marshall, 1998). Whether prejudice is against or in favour of something, it is an unfair feeling (or opinion) created without thinking deeply and clearly. Therefore the individual’s behaviour and identity exist in a predefined context, so we judge that individual in the realm of our biased sentiments. Positive or negative, our subjective views give meaning to what we observe, but the effects of our modes of thinking might not be so clear at first sight.

In modern studies of prejudice, Allport’s (1956) definition focuses on the social phenomena in the realm of group dynamics: Ethnic prejudice is an antipathy based upon a faulty and inflexible generalization. It may be felt or expressed. It may be directed towards a group as a whole or towards an individual because he is a member of that group. (p. 9)

This particular definition focuses on racial prejudice, and this is also the subject of the study. It is impossible to objectively criticise an attitude scientifically, but only on moral grounds. At some point in

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our lives, we have confronted or witnessed prejudicial behaviour. The nature of prejudice varies in degree of severity, and examples differ from mild aversions to intense hatred.

Prejudice is manifested at the affective level through attitudes. These are internalised thoughts that individuals hold, which are then expressed into actions through discrimination. The negative evaluations of prejudice are reflected in stereotypes. An attitude affects how we perceive and respond to the world (DeLamater & Myers, 2007). It will form part of a network of other beliefs which create consistency, propelling the individual to act in a certain way. The individual will naturally attempt to achieve consistency (Festinger, 1957). Nevertheless these networks of beliefs have the ability to become obsolete; in fact we can see how attitudes may change over time. This property of prejudice, that it is susceptible to change, is not fully comprehended in its many definitions, giving the impression that prejudice is a stable and unmovable attitude (Brown, 2000).

Are attitudes always consistent with one’s cognitions? According to the theory of cognitive dissonance coined by Festinger, one may experience simultaneous cognitions about oneself, one’s behaviour or environment which psychologically oppose each other (Festinger, 1957). When that occurs, one tries to solve this tension by achieving consonance between cognitions. This can be done by changing one of the cognitions to reduce dissonance and rationalize one’s behaviour (Coleman, 2001; Festinger, 1957; Baron, Byrne & Johnson, 1998). When the reasons for behaving against one’s

cognitions are weak, the greater the dissonance experienced and the greater the “motivation to alter the underlying attitude in order to restore the consistency” (Cardwell, 2003, p. 49).

Stereotypes are “relatively fixed and oversimplified generalizations” (Colman, 2001, p. 706) about a group, and are therefore applied to the members of that group. Like prejudice, it usually

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emphasis a negative trait, and are used to inflate or generate an image. The word stereotype came into being to describe an apparatus used in printing. It was a solid metallic plate used to produce duplicate impressions. Then Lippmann used a metaphor of this device to explain the act of making generalizations about a group of people from the first impressions we make (Lippmann, 1922). Stereotypes can be classified as either negative or positive, where the former propagates negative traits and are difficult to dislodge, whilst the latter propagate positive traits and are easily reversible.

Stereotypes serve as mental shortcuts, reducing the cognitive effort we have to wield to analyse and understand our surroundings; and these prejudgements are inevitable (Myers, 1999). As we are interpreting the behaviour of others, idiosyncratic conduct is attributed to external forces to keep our initial stereotype intact. Yet when we are receiving inconsistent information about a held stereotype, instead of changing our belief system we form a new category to explain this cognitive incongruity (Hinton, 2000). This is called sub-typing (Coleman, 2001).

Discrimination, although used interchangeably with prejudice, is not synonymous with the term. Discrimination is the manifestation of prejudice in the behavioural domain, an unfair treatment “towards members of a categorised group in comparison to members of other groups” (Cardwell, 2007, p. 77; Weiten & Lloyd, 2006; DeLamater & Myers, 2007; Brown, 2000), and stigmatized people react differently to the stimuli of discrimination (Kaiser & Miller, 2001). They can internalize the negative external beliefs or overcome the effects of discrimination. Prejudice may exist without discrimination as much as discrimination may exist without prejudice. A police officer might hold prejudiced attitudes against Sub-Saharan immigrants, but he would not treat them unfairly. Likewise a constable may carry out stop and searches on immigrants without a valid reason because he knows his supervisor is watching him – discrimination without prejudice.

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Discrimination is a multi-faceted concern. Apart from prejudiced attitudes, discrimination can be caused by environmental influences or social pressures. In addition to the complexity of the concept, literature on the coping strategies of discrimination victims is scarce (Herbert et al., 2008). Discrimination can occur at different levels, ranging from antagonism towards minority group’s demands to aggressive assaults (Akrami, Ekehammar, Claesson, Sonnander, 2005). Dawson’s (2009) literature review distinguished between the “chronic discriminatory stressors such as everyday discrimination, and acute discriminatory stressors such as major racist events” (p. 97).This variance of discrimination will be discussed when modern discrimination is compared to classical discrimination.

2.2 Understanding Attitudes, Prejudice and Stereotyping

This study focuses on the psycho-social explanations to understand prejudice, basing the assumption that psychological responses are products of the interaction between an individual and one’s environment (Pratto, Lemieux, Glasford, Henry, 2003). Social cognition is the cognitive activity which accompanies and mediates social behaviour, including the acquisition of the information about the environment, the organization and transformation of this information into memory, and its effects on social behaviour (Coleman, 2001).

2.2.1 Social Learning Theory

Albert Bandura was the leading exponent of the Social Learning Theory which attempts to explain how people learn behaviour within a social context.. The environment can reinforce a specific behaviour through a model (Miltenberger, 2008). If learning is not a product of direct experience, but through observation, it is referred to as vicarious learning (Nathan & & Kovoor-Misra, 2002; Ormrod,

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2004; Coleman, 2001). When one witnesses an action, the behaviour is either reinforced (proactive) or punished (inhibitive) according to the consequences of the model’s behaviour (Bandura, 1999), especially if the model is a significant other (Shakib & Dunbar, 2004). Thus when a high rank police officer behaves in a certain manner, the other subordinate police officers will be more likely to model that behaviour.

According to McLeod and Wainwright (2008), human behaviour can be “predicted by the two general factors: the expectancy of reward and the associated value of reward”. Thus the consequences have indirect effects on learning that will ultimately influence the extent to which the observer will exhibit a behaviour that has been learned (Ormrod, 2004). In case of deviant misconduct, sanctions can take two forms, social (such as fear of punishment) and personal through self-evaluative reactions (Bandura, Caprara & Zsolnai, 2000).

Cognition plays an important role in learning. The expectation of reinforcement influences cognitive processes that promote learning (McLeod & Wainwright, 2008; Ormrod, 2004). The greater the perception that there is a “connection with what people do and with what happens to them”, the more internally controlled they are (McLeod & Wainwright, 2008, p. 67), which is the basis of selfefficacy. The behavioural intentions depend on the knowledge and the likelihood that a behaviour will lead to a specific outcome (Wdowik, Kendall, Harris, Keim, 2000). To recapitulate, the core factors of social learning theory are (i) the knowledge of the behavioural consequence, (ii) perceived self-efficacy, (iii) outcome expectations, (iv) goals we set for ourselves and (v) environmental context (Bandura, 2004). However learning can occur without an alteration in behaviour, thus it is difficult to test this theory using quantitative research methods (Rebellon, 2006). A police officer might engage in racial profiling more often, if this behaviour is encouraged and rewarded by his superiors.

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2.2.2 Social Cognitive Perspective

Schemas form the basis of attitudes, and are essential for the organization, recalling and interpreting knowledge (Reed, 2007; Galotti, 2008; Ashcraft, 2006). As already noted, prejudice and attitudes are theoretically indistinguishable; therefore the concept of schemata is relevant in light of attitude formation mechanisms. When we think of a particular group, cognitively we are retrieving information from schemata; and that information is used to determine our attitudes and expectations of that particular group or members of that group.

The normal processes of perception are relevant in the area of prejudice as well, including the concept of attribution. “Attribution is the assignment of causes to behaviour” (Coleman, 2001, p. 63). We infer causation based on personal dispositional factors or external situational factors. In a situation where an immigrant is caught breaking the law, outside factors explaining his behaviour include poverty or lack of opportunities for legal employment. Personal dispositional factors include that the reason why the immigrant is breaking the law is because the immigrant has innate criminal tendencies.

2.2.3 Social Dominance Theory (SDT) According to this theory, society is seen as a community made of groups; but unlike in an egalitarian system, not all groups have equal distribution of wealth. Therefore there are elite and subordinate groups, and some groups are socially dominant over others. It is “defined as one’s generalized desire for group’s dominance as opposed to intergroup equality” (Pratto, Lemieux, Glasford, Henry, 2003, p. 3; Henry, P. J., Sidanius, J., Levin, S., Pratto, F., 2005). Groups are constructed according to common characteristics such as ethnicity, religion and social class. Movement of a group from

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different social strata is uncommon (Sidanius & Pratto, 1999). “SDT defines three types of social stratification systems: an age system where adults and older individuals command more resources and power than the younger, a gender system in which men possess greater status and power than women, and an arbitrary set system in which socially constructed, arbitrarily defined categories (e.g., races, occupations, social classes, nationalities) enjoy disproportionately more status and power over other socially constructed categories” (Dion, 2003, p. 520).

Arbitrary set hierarchies develop during time of economic surplus, in which authoritarian figures run in families through the use of fear and violence to control their subordinates. There are three basic tenets for SDT, (1) that individuals have a predisposition to form groups, (2) that in society there are forces that promote inequality, hierarchy-enhancing (HE) forces, and forces that favour social equality, called hierarchy-attenuating (HA) forces and (3) HE and HA forces find equilibrium in society (Dion, 2003). As a result, the common behaviours of these groups diverge and form the relationships among them.

Social Dominance Theory is the basis for the Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) Scale, which attempts to measure attitudes intergroup relations. The scale was created to be valid across different political and social contexts by referring to abstract groups in the items. Analysis of SDO results show that individual differences are accounted by four factors; which are group status, gender, socialization and temperament (Dion, 2003). In other words, members of higher social status, men and aggressive individuals with low educational achievement tend to score higher in SDO.

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2.2.4 Authoritarian Personality

One of the main theories that links personality traits to prejudice is that proposed by Adorno in his work “The Authoritarian personality”. It was an attempt to account for Hitler’s anti-Semitism movement, a psycho-political proposal. Since police officers are responsible for maintaining order and controlling crime, this line of career tends to attract people who are relatively more conservative and authoritarian when compared to socioeconomic similar citizens (Coleman, 1983).

Generally, the authoritarian personality is created under specific circumstances, brought about by rearing of children in very strict environments. Adorno et al. (1950) postulated the origins being when: (1) parents discipline their children harshly, (2) parents emphasize duties and obligations instead of affection in child-parent relationships, (3) parents make their love dependent on their child’s unquestionable obedience and (4) parents were status oriented” (as cited in Millon, Lerner & Weiner, 2003, p. 509). This environment presupposes that children grow up to view the world in extreme dualism, i.e. they think in either absolute wrong or absolute right.

As part of the original theory of authoritarian personality, there was the F (for fascism) scale; a personality scale that attempted to validate the theory (Sears, 1988). It is supposed to measure one’s right-wing political ideology, which is correlated with prejudicial beliefs. It is a matter of traditional values, where liberals opt for values of equal protection for civil liberties while conservatives advocate values of individualism (Sears, 1988; Henry & Sears, 2003). Altemeyer (2006) revised the F scale and constructed another version which is more conceptually appropriate. The right wing authoritarianism (RWA) scale has proved to be more focused on social learnining theory than psychoanalytic concepts. “High scorers (from RWA) submit to established authority more than most people do, aggress more in

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the name of such authority, and are much more conventional” (Altemeyer, 2006, p. 15). The concept is characterised by (i) “authoritarian submission”, which is an overstated compliance to authority figures (ii) “authoritarian aggression”, which means contempt towards insubordinates and (iii)

“conventionalism”, which refers to the traditional values that promote authoritarianism (Weiten & Lloyd, 2006, p. 182). Altemeyer concluded that the authoritarian personality is based on two factors,i.e. group perception (with intergroup bias) and the self-righteous belief (Weiten & Lloyd, 2006; Altemeyer, 2006; Altemeyer, n.d.). It seems that the authoritarian concept and in particular RWA, focuses on personality as the origin of prejudice, and according to Hollin (2002) the police officer’s personality is strongly correlated with authoritarianism.

2.2.5 Modern and Classical Prejudice

Part of the difficulty in defining prejudice is related to its nature to change over time (Sears, 1988; Henry & Sears, 2002). In the past, minority groups were segregated and slavery was the social norm, now discrimination became unlawful. What this means is the old-fashioned hostile discrimination decreased (Weiten & Lloyd, 2006), but did not disappear. Instead, the cultural climate evolved and a new way to express prejudice emerged, generally known as modern prejudice (Sears, 1988). However there are many different terms to define this notion as Henry and Sears (2002) points out in his study; such as symbolic racism by Sears (1988), modern racism by McConahay (1986), racial resentment by Kinder & Sandars (1996), subtle racism by Pettigrew (2000), aversive racism by Gaertner and Dovidio (1986), racial ambivalence by Katz and Hass (1988) and laissez-faire racism by Bobo, Klueyal and Smith (1997). All these have distinct characteristics but are based on the same idea whereby people became more egalitarian in principle but still have prejudiced attitudes (Henry & Sears, 2002). This also provides a challenge for researchers, as new conceptual frameworks need to be constructed to adapt appropriate

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research tools, as respondents need to grasp both the literal and pragmatic meaning of the questions (Gomez & Trierweiler, 2001).

According to Sears (1988), modern prejudice or symbolic racism is characterized by three clusters of beliefs. The first set revolves around antagonism towards the manner that a particular minority group is requesting demands, such as the perceived help given to them by society. Secondly there is the hostility towards positive discrimination of minority groups, such as special support provided by social policies. Thirdly, there is the denial of continuing discrimination (Akrami, Ekehammar, Claesson, Sonnander, 2005). In the questionnaire used there are items which measure each category. “The theory specifies that symbolic racism stems from some combination of anti-Black affect and traditional values, most notably individualism” (Henry & Sears, 2003, p. 260). The term symbolic racism stems from the fact that racial aversion is viewed in light of a culturally belief system formed from the early learned traditional values (Henry & Sears, 2002). This theory was born in the attempt of trying to explain political prejudiced attitudes.

Are modern prejudice and classical prejudice truly independent? “Symbolic racism presumably has a strong component of non-racial traditional values, whereas old-fashioned racism does not, so they should be statistically independent” (Sears, 1988, p. 61). Yet they have the same conceptual etymology which means that they should be correlated. And many studies proved to show that many respondents who scored high on modern prejudice tended to oppose liberal racial policies (Henry & Sears, 2002). Modern prejudice or implicit bias, are made up of personal beliefs that lie outside our awareness. These may permeate in our behaviour, especially in our political decisions unnoticed, in fact even when directly asked about these opinions people will negate they have them (Bower, 2006).

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2.3 Police Culture and Immigration

Usually when the police are mentioned in the news coverage, they are mentioned because they infringe human rights (Bracey, 2002). “Historically, the relations between the police and ethnic minorities have been fraught with problems of insensitivity, misunderstanding and miscommunication” (Davis, Erez & Avitabile, 2001, p. 185). However human rights are not always clear to follow, and when police officers find themselves in the middle of controversial situations, the code of correct conduct seems to violate human rights.

Immigration is bringing ethnic diversity and promoting multiculturalism in our society, and it is becoming the norm rather than the exception (Bracey, 2002; Taylor, 1994). Moreover, the criminal justice system is proving to be an environment which ethnic diversity is being assimilated (Davis, Erez, Avitabile, 2001). Inevitably, multiculturalism becomes an important issue to be discussed in the circumstances of a criminal justice system that is Eurocentric. It is for these reasons that there is a growing need of multicultural training in the criminal justice system to facilitate cultural diversity (Davis, Erez & Avitabile, 2001).

The notion of police culture is formed by the attitudes and values police officers hold (Rowe, 2004). Research showed that this occupational subculture was endowed with elements of racism (Sigelman, Welch, Bledsoe, Combs, 1997; Rowe, 2004). When communities carry racist predispositions, the police are more likely to follow suit (Crank, 1998). Subsequently, police officers will internalize these racist values in accordance with their authoritarian personalities, and adopt an attitude in which they believe that holding implicit negative bias is expected from the police force (Nelson, 2000). Allport (1954) had mentioned socio-cultural conditions as moderators of prejudice. However there can also be

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the possibility that only a few police officers are indeed racist, and these are giving a bad name to the whole force. Another notion to take into account is that these racist cultural properties of the police force are being exaggerated and blown out of proportion. Yet the fact remains that racial profiling is a growing concern in society where coloured individuals are perceived more suspiciously than their Caucasian counterparts (Barlow & Barlow, 2002). Police cultures can only exist if a set of values are common across the force, and evidence such as Coleman and Gorman (1982) suggests that police officers have scored significantly higher for intolerant attitudes than their control subjects. Even a police officer can be racist against a member of one’s own racial group (Crank, 1998).

Institutional racism is term was used extensively in the MacPhearson report, a publication issued after a notorious inquiry left a lot to desire from the British police. The case revolved around the homicide of Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager who was beaten to death in London. Police automatically assumed it was a gang-related offense, and did not investigate the case as it should have. Finally, it transpired that it was not a gang-related incident, but a hate crime committed by a group of Caucasian youngsters. The police’s sloppy work divulged into the court proceedings and the perpetrators were not convicted. As a result Sir William MacPherson headed an inquiry and concluded that the police force was institutionally racist (Hendricks & Bryers, 1994). It refers to the practices and policies which promote inequality, and carrying them out entails engaging in discriminatory activity. Institutional racism is widely documented (Crank, 1998) and supported by empirical evidence that suggests that African Americans are more likely to be pulled over by the police, or to be treated more harshly by the criminal justice system (Siegel, 2006).

2.3.1 Racial discrimination as addressed in the Maltese Criminal Code

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The history of legislation regarding racism in Malta is rather short. Racial discrimination only became a criminal offense in 1996, and in Malta discrimination is mostly manifested against “Arabs, women and people with a different sexual orientation” (Abela, 2004, p. 23). Prior this date, any racial discrimination could not be addressed except though the remedies offered by the Constitutional Court (Muscat, 2007). Legislation had the latest changes in regard of this in issue with Legal Notice 85/2007, entitled “Order of Equal Treatment of Persons”. This meant that police officers have to communicate with a new authority, i.e. National Commission for Promotion of Equality (Muscat, 2007). The commission can start investigations at will, and anyone guilty of breaking the law and committing racist crimes is liable to a fine of 1000 Maltese liri or to imprisonment for not more than six months, or to both fine and imprisonment (Legal notice 85 of 2007). Discrimination means direct or indirect discrimination based on ethnic origin and includes both act and omission (Muscat, 2007). In 2002 a new criminal offence was introduced on racial incitement in the article 82A of the Criminal Code, where “who uses words or behaves that threatens…..with the intent to incite racial hatred”. Racial hatred is defined as “hatred against a group of people in Malta with reference to their racial, colour, ethnic and national (including citizenship) origins” (Criminal code, 2002).

2.4 Conclusion

Prejudice is represented by the affective, emotion-relating part of human nature. Discrimination belongs to the observable domain of behaviour. Social cognition theory offers an explanation for the contribution of cognitions in our understanding of prejudice. If these are sons of the same earth, then what is this earth? If the affective, behavioural and cognitive parts form the self, then what is the self in terms of prejudice?

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Chapter 3: Methodology

3.1 Introduction

This chapter will focus on the methodology used to conduct this study. The approach, research tool, sampling and data collecting procedure will be discussed, as well as some ethical considerations.

3.2 Approach

The main aim of the study is to distinguish between two forms of prejudice elicited by the police towards immigrants, i.e. the inconspicuous modern form and the more blatant classical type. This is a quantitative study, in which a self-report attitude scale with a Likert scoring system was administered to the nine districts in Malta. Since attitudes are being recorded, a quantitative approach was choosen.

3.3 Research Tool

Originally it is based on Sears’ (1988) classification system (denial of continued discrimination; antagonism towards out-group demands; lack of support for policies designed to help out-group), and later on also used by Akrami et al. to study attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities. Random items were reversed when coded and all of them were randomly mixed within each scale. The items of all scales were answered on 5-step Likert-type scales ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). The first section is concerned with gathering demographic information about the respondent. The questionnaire was divided in two sections, 8 items measuring classical prejudice and 11

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items measuring modern prejudice, for the total of 19 items as presented in the Appendix. The modern items are divided into 3: (i) Items 4, 8, 9 and 10 measure Denial of continuing discrimination; (ii) Items 2,3,6,7 and 11 measure Antagonism toward demand and; (iii) Items 1 and 5 measure resentment about special favours

3.4 Sampling

186 questionnaires were collected, and these comprise officers who sit behind desks at the GHQ, those assigned to specialised divisions (such as Traffic or Vice Squad) and those assigned to local police station duties. Most respondents were male (74.7%) and the rest (25.3%) female. In terms of age, most respondents were between 25 and 35 years old and a great number were constables (68.3%). The majority of them have been working between 10 and 20 years, and the biggest sample was from district 1. Due to the fact that sampling was not random, there is a possibility of a sampling error and the nonprobability sampling technique used is identified primarily by convenience, where although responses tend to be more accurate there is still the chance of the social desirability effect.

3.5 Procedure

The participants were given the questionnaires at their corresponding police station, and all instructions were presented on the questionnaire. Not all police officers participated in the study, and obtaining the full register of officers was not permitted. Out of the total of 1871, around 450 questionnaires were mostly distributed in the central police stations of each district and the General

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Headquarters (GHQ). The participants were given the questionnaires at their corresponding police station, and all instructions were presented on the questionnaire.

3.6 Analysis

The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows. Some items were reversely coded. Since the analysis required comparing means, one-way Anova procedure was used to test the hypotheses. To increase the response rate of the questionnaire it was decided to make a translation of Maltese, but this brings about internal consistency problems. Split-half reliability is used to assess internal consistency, i.e. the degree to which different raters give consistent estimates the same item. 15 participants volunteered to take the questionnaire in Maltese, and repeat the same test in English after 1 week. Using this method, the constructs are divided into two sets, and examines he correlation between the two parts. A high coefficient entails correlation. If the split half exceeds 0.7, the construct validity is validated. In this case the split half coefficient is 0.847, and as such the study is said to be internally consistent.

3.7 Ethics

The research tool specified on the front page that the respondents should not sign their name to ensure anonymity. They were also informed about the scope of the research and that the information provided will be used solely for academic purposes. The instructions specified that the information gathered shall be kept in the strictest confidence and all filled in questionnaires shall remain in safe keeping. Consent was obtained from the Central Media Relations Unit (CMRU) before starting the study.

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3.8 Conclusion

The aim of the chapter was to describe the approach chosen for the design, including sampling, approach, research tool, analysis and internal consistency. In addition, the ethical considerations were also taken into account.

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Chapter 4: Results

4.1 Introduction

The programme Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the data gathered through the attitude scale found in the Appendix. Strongly disagree corresponded to 1 while strongly agree corresponded to 5. A one-way A-nova test produced the mean rating scores and P-values for the data inputted, in order to test the hypotheses, which are the following:

1. There will be significant difference between classical prejudice rating scores and modern prejudice scores. 2. There will be significant difference between the three components of modern prejudice: denial of continuing prejudice, antagonism towards minority groups’ demands and resentment about special favours. 3. There will be no significant difference between the male and female police officer mean rating scores. 4. There will be significant differences between the mean rating scores of different age groups. 5. There will be significant difference between the mean rating score of constables and that of higher-ranking officers mean rating scores. 6. There will be significant differences between the mean rating scores of police officers, according to the amount of years working in the police force. 7. There will be significant differences between the mean rating scores of different districts.

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The results produced shall be presented in the following sections, starting with a description of the sample. Then the results will be presented according to individual items. Finally the results relevant to the hypotheses will be presented. However it is important to note that the research tool was not standardised on a police population, therefore one cannot infer whether the police are prejudiced. The results can only show the difference between modern and classical prejudice, and how much the variables affect the attitudes.

4.2 Sample Population

Out of 186 respondents, 139 were male (75%) and 47 female (25%). There is a gap in the ratio between men and women police officers. Most respondents were between 18 and 35 years (69.9%); due to the early retirement option, most police officers are relatively young. The majority of respondents were police constables (68%), there were very few sergeants or inspectors at their respective police stations. Years in the police force was divided into 5 categories. The General Headquarters is part of the first district, hence the biggest contributor to the study.

Gender

Age

Rank

Male Female Total 18 - 25 25 - 35 35 - 45 More than 45 Total Police constable Higher ranks Total

Frequency 139 47 186 56 74 34 22 186 127 59 186

Percent 74.7 25.3 100.0 30.1 39.8 18.3 11.8 100.0 68.3 31.7 100

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Years in the Police Force

0 - 2 years 2 - 5 years 5 - 10 years 10 - 20 years More than 20 years Total District 1 District 2 District 3 District 4 District 5 District 6 District 7 District 8 District 9 Total

22 42 37 54 31 186 47 15 16 16 17 25 15 15 20 186

11.8 22.6 19.9 29.0 16.7 100.0 25.3 8.1 8.6 8.6 9.1 13.4 8.1 8.1 10.8 100.0

District

Table 1 Gender, Age, Rank, Years in the police Force and District descriptive statistics.

Figure 1 Gender

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Figure 2 Age

Figure 3 Rank

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Figure 4 Experience in the Police Force

Figure 5 Districts in Malta

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4.3 Comparison of Attitudes on Modern and Classical Prejudice

Figure 6 Mean Rating Scores of Classical Prejudice Items

The corresponding items are:

1. The basic reasons for many of the social and economic problems that immigrants in Malta suffer from are due to their own mental weaknesses. 2. Even though there are some exceptions, it seems that most immigrants simply lack those qualities that Maltese community members should have. 3. Immigrants should live in protected places because of the dangers in Maltese society.

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4. It would be unwise for a Maltese local to marry an immigrant. 5. Immigrants do not have the character strength that most of the Maltese have. 6. It seems that immigrants do not take the opportunities offered by society. 7. Like all people, immigrants have goals and meanings in their lives. 8. Immigrants often commit crimes.

The lowest mean scores, or less prejudiced attitudes, were found to be for items 3 and 7 (1.77 and 1.82 respectively). On the other hand, the highest score, or most prejudiced attitude was to found to be for item 4 (4.04), relating to interracial marriage.

Figure 7 Mean rating scores of Classical Prejudice Items

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The corresponding items are:

1. Society takes more care of immigrants than is fair to other groups. 2. Immigrants are getting too demanding in their push for equal rights. 3. Immigrants have more to give to Maltese society than they have been given the opportunity to. 4. Most immigrants are no longer victims of discrimination in Malta. 5. It is the right of immigrants that sometimes get special support from society to find appropriate jobs. 6. Immigrants are getting enough help from society. 7. Immigrants get too little attention from the media. 8. Immigrants are in general treated in the same way as Maltese locals in society. 9. Negative attitudes in society make the lives of immigrants difficult. 10. It is easy to understand that immigrants and their relatives still struggle against the injustice they suffer in society. 11. There have been enough help given to immigrants.

These mean rating scores are predominantly higher than the classical prejudice mean rating scores, as will be presented in the next section. The lowest mean rating score was for item 5 (2.38), about the need for immigrants to get help in finding a job. The highest mean rating scores were found to be for items 2 (4.51), 6 (4.53), 7 (4.32), and 11 (4.5).

4.4 Correlation between Classical Prejudice and Modern Prejudice

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The Pearson Correlation co-efficient measures the relationship between two quantitative variables. A correlation close to 1 indicates a strong positive correlation, and a correlation close to -1 indicates a strong negative correlation. A correlation close to 0 indicates no relationship at all. H0 means there is no correlation between the two quantitative variables. H1 there is a relationship between the two quantitative variables. The P-value is the criteria to determine whether to accept H0 or H1. If the Pvalue exceeds the 0.05 level of significance, H0 is accepted. If the P-value is less than 0.05 level of significance, H1 is accepted.
Correlations

Modern Prejudice Classical Prejudice Pearson Correlation P-value (1-tailed) Sample Size .149 .021 186

Table 2 Correlation between Classical and Modern prejudice

Figure 8 Scatter plot representation

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The Pearson correlation co-efficient for Classical and modern prejudice is 0.149. Since the correlation is positive, respondents who are giving high scores for classical prejudice tend to give high scores for modern prejudice. This is also displayed by the scatter plot. Since the P-value 0.021 is less than the 0.05 level of significance we deduce that this relationship is significant and not attributed to chance, hence it can be generalized.

4.5 Correlation between the 3 components of Modern Prejudice

The one-way Anova test is used to compare the various means of attitude scores between several individual and demographic variables (such as gender, age and rank). H0 indicates that the difference in attitude score will not be significant. H1 indicates that mean rating scores elicited by different groups vary significantly. The P-value is the criterion to determine whether to accept H0 or H1. If the P-value exceeds the 0.05 level of significance, H0 is accepted. If the P-value is less than 0.05 level of significance, H1 is accepted.

Correlations Denial Denial Pearson Correlation P-value (1-tailed) Sample Size Antagonism Pearson Correlation P-value (1-tailed) Sample Size Resentment Pearson Correlation P-value (1-tailed) Sample Size 186 .411 .000 186 .060 .210 186 186 .006 .466 186 186 1 Antagonism .411 .000 186 1 Resentment .060 .210 186 .006 .466 186 1

Table 3 Correlations between the 3 components of Modern prejudice

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The Pearson correlation co-efficient relating denial, antagonism and resentment are all positive, indicating that respondents who are eliciting a high rating score for one type of modern prejudice tend to give a high rating score for the other components of modern prejudice. The relationship between denial and antagonism is a strong relationship (0.411) since the P-value is less than the 0.05 level of significance. However, the relationships between denial and resentment (0.060) and antagonism and resentment (0.006) are weak relationships because the corresponding P-values (0.210 and 0.466) both exceed the 0.05 level of significance.

4.6 Gender and Prejudice

95% Confidence Interval for Mean Mean Classical Prejudice Modern Prejudice Male Female Male Female 2.8318 2.7287 3.6950 3.6925 Std. Deviation .57671 .45915 .52780 .54990 Lower Bound 2.7351 2.5939 3.6064 3.5310 Upper Bound 2.9286 2.8635 3.7835 3.8539 0.978 P-value 0.268

Table 4 Correlations between gender and prejudice

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Figure 9 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to gender

It is evident from the descriptive statistics table and cluster bar graph that the mean rating score elicited for modern prejudice are significantly higher than those elicited for classical prejudice. This conforms to what is found in literature. Moreover there is no gender bias for both classical and modern prejudice. The P-values, 0.268 and 0.978 indicate that the mean rating scores elicited by males and females for classical and modern prejudice are comparable and do not differ significantly (since the pvalues exceed the 0.05 criterion). As expected, the initial hypothesis that there is a significant difference between male and female police officers is not accepted.

The 95% confidence interval (error bar) provides a range of values where the actual mean rating score lies if the whole population if the police force (1871) had to be included in the study. The fact that the error bars for males and females overlap explains why the on-way Anova test is not yielding a significant result.

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4.7 Age and Prejudice

95% Confidence Interval for Mean Mean Classical Prejudice 18 - 25 26 - 35 36 - 45 More than 45 Modern Prejudice 18 - 25 26 - 35 36 - 45 More than 45 2.7254 2.8243 2.9228 2.7670 3.6737 3.7789 3.5561 3.6760 Std. Deviation .47339 .50972 .60067 .75227 .49240 .48946 .67948 .49203 Lower Bound 2.5987 2.7062 2.7132 2.4335 3.5418 3.6655 3.3191 3.4579 Upper Bound 2.8522 2.9424 3.1324 3.1006 3.8056 3.8923 3.7932 3.8942 Minimum 1.75 1.50 1.88 1.50 2.55 2.73 1.91 2.73 0.234 0.406 P-Value

Table 5 Correlations between age and prejudice

Figure 10 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to age

There is no age bias for both classical and modern prejudice. The P-values, 0.406 and 0.234 indicate that the mean rating scores elicited by different age groups for classical and modern prejudice

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do not differ significantly (since the p-values exceed the 0.05 criterion). The initial hypothesis that there is significant difference between mean rating scores of different age groups is rejected.

4.8 The Influence of Rank

95% Confidence Interval for Mean Mean Classical Prejudice Police constable Higher ranks Modern Prejudice Police constable Higher ranks 2.7825 2.8559 3.6776 3.7304 Std. Deviation .54763 .55651 .53509 .52792 Lower Bound 2.6863 2.7109 3.5836 3.5928 Upper Bound 2.8786 3.0010 3.7716 3.8679 .530 P-value .398

Table 6 Correlations between rank and prejudice

Figure 11 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to rank

There is hardly any rank bias for both classical and modern prejudice. The P-values, 0.398 and 0.530 indicate that the mean rating scores elicited by different age groups for classical and modern prejudice do not differ significantly (since the p-values exceed the 0.05 criterion). The initial hypothesis

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that there will be significant difference between the mean rating score of constables and that of higherranking officers mean rating scores is rejected.

4.9 Length Experience in the Police Force

95% Confidence Interval for Mean Mean Classical Prejudice 0 - 2 years 2 - 4 years 5 - 9 years 10 - 19 years More than 20 years Modern Prejudice 0 - 2 years 2 - 4 years 5 - 9 years 10 - 19 years More than 20 years 2.6364 2.8006 2.9392 2.7616 2.8508 3.5992 3.7749 3.6413 3.7660 3.5912 Std. Deviation .52456 .48141 .49355 .50427 .75237 .49369 .46539 .60452 .54905 .51765 Lower Bound 2.4038 2.6506 2.7746 2.6239 2.5748 3.3803 3.6299 3.4397 3.6161 3.4013 Upper Bound 2.8689 2.9506 3.1037 2.8992 3.1268 3.8181 3.9199 3.8428 3.9159 3.7811 .385 P-value .307

Table 7 Correlations between years in the police force and prejudice

Figure 12 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to years in the police force

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There is hardly any bias for both classical and modern prejudice, depending on how many years one has worked within the police force. The P-values, 0.307 and 0.385 indicate that the mean rating scores elicited by different groups for classical and modern prejudice do not differ significantly (since the p-values exceed the 0.05 criterion). The initial hypothesis that there will be significant differences between the mean rating scores of police officers, according to the amount of years working in the police force is rejected.

4.10 District Differences

95% Confidence Interval for Mean Mean Classical Prejudice District 1 District 2 District 3 District 4 District 5 District 6 District 7 District 8 District 9 Modern Prejudice District 1 District 2 District 3 District 4 District 5 District 6 District 7 District 8 District 9 2.7606 2.5667 2.7500 3.1094 2.7647 2.9750 2.8500 2.9250 2.5938 3.6267 3.8848 3.8011 3.5682 3.5401 3.8582 3.7697 3.8158 3.5045 Std. Deviation .56676 .48382 .66458 .59665 .44608 .51665 .51798 .40861 .55736 .52847 .23169 .55865 .72916 .43536 .50006 .46082 .52277 .60552 Lower Bound 2.5942 2.2987 2.3959 2.7914 2.5354 2.7617 2.5632 2.6987 2.3329 3.4715 3.7565 3.5035 3.1796 3.3163 3.6518 3.5145 3.5263 3.2212 Upper Bound 2.9270 2.8346 3.1041 3.4273 2.9941 3.1883 3.1368 3.1513 2.8546 3.7819 4.0132 4.0988 3.9567 3.7639 4.0646 4.0249 4.1053 3.7879 .164 P-value .067

Table 8 Correlations between districts and prejudice

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Figure 13 Mean rating scores of prejudice in relation to district

Although close, there is no district bias for both classical and modern prejudice. The P-values, 0.067 and 0.164 ultimately indicate that the mean rating scores elicited by different groups for classical and modern prejudice do not differ significantly (since the p-values exceed the 0.05 criterion), although these results are the closest to yield significant differences. The initial hypothesis that there will be significant differences between the mean rating scores of different districts is rejected.

When it comes to Classical prejudice, the highest rating score originated from District 4 (3.10). Its central police station is situated in Cospicua. On the other hand, for modern prejudice, the highest rating score is between Districts 2 (3.9), 3 (3.8), 6 (3.9) and 8 (3.8). Their respective central police stations are Qormi, Paola, Sliema and Birkirkara.

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When it concerns the lowest rating scores classical prejudice, District 2 (2.6) and District 9 (2.6) have the lowest mean. Central police stations are Qormi and Mosta. On the other hand, the lowest rating scores for modern prejudice are from Districts 5 (3.5) and 9 (3.5). The central police stations are Żejtun and again Mosta.

To summarize, Mosta had the lowest scores on both classical and modern prejudice. Moreover, Qormi had the highest rating scores for modern prejudice, but lowest scores for classical prejudice; and Cospicua has the highest rating scores for classical prejudice, but the lowest scores for modern prejudice.

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Chapter 5: Discussion

5.1 Introduction

This chapter will focus on the interpretation and elaboration of the statistical results obtained, with respect to the original hypothesis. The statistical figures do not support every hypothesis, some were expected while others were not. The author’s opinion shall also be voiced accordingly.

5.2 Of Modern Prejudice and Police Culture

As noted in the literature review, there were different terms to refer to modern prejudice (Henry & Sears, 2002). The variety of terms is due to the relatively new concept of modern prejudice. Old definitions, although still relevant, are not enough to distinguish between classical and modern prejudice. This does not entail that these have become obsolete, but that a new form of prejudice emerged that needs to be investigated further, especially if one considers that social constructs change over time. The usage of modern, or subtle prejudice is more befitting considering that as it is a new terminology which refers to a new notion.

The first hypothesis states that classical and modern prejudice, although correlated, could be distinguishable. As expected, the study confirms this claim (correlation equal to 0.021). Moreover the rating scores for modern prejudice in every test are always higher than those of classical prejudice indicating a new manifestation of prejudiced attitudes, as documented by Weiten & Lloyd (2006) and

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Sears (1988). This is also in line with the research indicating a police culture having racist elements (Rowe)

The second hypothesis predicted that the three components of modern prejudice are significantly similar because they are supposed to measure different aspects of the same attitude. The results obtained support this hypothesis as well. The main implication would be that both classical and modern prejudice derives from the same source, or that modern prejudice originated from classical prejudice. In general terms this offers to be a challenge for anti-discrimination movements, because if there are new socially acceptable ways to express prejudice, then it stands to reason that new cognitions involved. Therefore one needs to adopt new methods to combat discrimination and raise awareness about the issue. As for the police force of Malta, the highest scores were for “antagonism towards immigrants’ demands”. According to the research on SDT theory (Pratto, Lemieux, Glasford, Henry, 2003, p. 3; Henry, P. J., Sidanius, J., Levin, S., Pratto, F., 2005), the reason for this could be that immigrants’ demands are viewed as Hierarchy-Attenuated factor which threatens the dominance of Maltese over foreigners. On the other hand, this does not explain why the scores for “denial of continuing discrimination” were not higher. If the study could be repeated with the whole Maltese population, it would provide a deeper understanding of modern prejudice.

If one would assume that classical racism is frowned upon in society, one would expect that that the cognitions behind modern prejudice would create cognitive dissonance. Yet this was not the case in the findings of this study. One way to overcome cognitive dissonance is by stereotype subtyping (Festinger, 1957). Is there a possibility where police officers have created a “pleasant” stereotype for some foreigners and another “undesirable” stereotype for immigrants and refugees? Without a qualitative investigation it is difficult to comment the attitude formations and corresponding schemata

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of the Maltese police force. The major obstacle of the misinformation is the conundrum of definitions. When discussing the issue of immigration, many people fail to distinguish between foreigners. Usually the only distinction made is only skin deep. Lippmann (1922) wrote about the “pictures in our heads” to explain the stereotypes which we use to make sense of the world (p. 22). Police officers make the same mistake and most often than not assume that the only immigrants that live in Malta are the same ones they come in contact with at work, and thus their impression is formed. In essence, this does not mean that the perceptions of police officer’s is incorrect, it simply means that any schemas formed by these perceptions will be skewed from the start. The application of a deviant label is a must. Once the perceptions that immigrants in general are disturbing troublemakers become ingrained in the schema of ‘immigrant’, it will form part of the attitude. Beyond this stage, any attempt from the individual to retrieve information about immigrants, the negative connation will be inevitable. It was for this reason that the questionnaire did not specify which type of immigrant the items were referring to, to allow free association.

From the results obtained, there were no real biases of any kind, meaning that the levels of prejudice across the police force are homogenous. The original hypotheses suggested otherwise. Irrespective of gender, age, rank, years working in the police force and district, the attitudes of prejudice will be more or less the same. This should not cover the fact that on a general perspective, all rating scores were high indicating that the Maltese police officers are quite prejudiced. It would be useful to compare results with the rest of the Maltese population, to have a control group in order to investigate whether society at large holds the same attitudes. Research already indicates that the police force subculture contained racist tendencies (Crank, 1998; Nelson, 2000; Sigelman, Welch, Bledsoe, Combs, 1997; Rowe, 2004), and the results obtained confirm this view.

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The location of the district yielded some interesting results, even though they were not statistically significant. Scores from District 2 (where Qormi is the central police station) symbolize the concept of the changing in the way we express prejudice, because it scored lowest for classical prejudice and highest for modern prejudice. This would entail that the sentiment is still present, but more subtle. District 9 (the Northern district), yielded the lowest scores for both classical and modern prejudice. On the opposite end, District 4 (the Southern District) has the highest classical prejudice scores and lowest modern prejudice scores. The first observation is the contrast between the northern and southern districts. This could be due to a concentration of open centres where immigrants reside in the South. Considering the fact that police officers come in contact with deviant and criminal behaviour, one can infer that any contact with the police will result in a negative perception. Therefore one could ascertain that in the South, immigrants come in contact with the police more often, and it would make sense that the highest classical prejudice (or the most primitive form of prejudice) scores would be found here.

In Malta there is no research indicating the frequency of such malpractice. The implications are two-fold. Firstly, minority group members will lose faith in the justice system, and if they fall victims of a crime, it will be very unlikely that they will report the incident (Bracey, 2002). As a result immigrants fall prey more easily to exploitation, as noted by two major worker unions in Malta; General Workers Union (GWU) and General Retailers and Traders Union (GRTU) in their respective reports (GWU, n.d.; GRTU, 2000). However popular opinion blames the foreign victims of exploitation instead of the Maltese perpetrators (Debono, 2009). The second aspect is that minority group members will in turn be prejudiced against the police (Boffa, 2008), with the same cognitive processes at work. The chances of immigrant cooperation decrease substantially due to this notion of institutional racism.

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5.3 Conclusion

This chapter has explored the different results that emerged from the statistical analysis. It provided insight into the applicability of the theories presented in the literature review.

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Chapter 6: Conclusion

6.1 Summary of the study

The aim of this chapter is to present a summary of the study, including the limitations and final note. The study was conducted to investigate the police attitudes towards immigrants, specifically the classic and modern prejudice attitudes. These both represent the same sentiment, but at different levels. A quantitative approach was adopted, and all the hypotheses suggesting some form of bias were rejected. This shows that every police officer expresses an equal degree of prejudice.

6.2 Limitations of the Study

As already explained above, although discrimination and prejudice are connected concepts, they are different. The questionnaires measured prejudicial attitudes, not overt behaviour. Thus one cannot assert that the Maltese Police force freely discriminate against immigrants. Another study should be conducted to measure the effects of symbolic racism (Sears, 1988). Moreover discrimination terminology creates bias in a study of discrimination, creating difficulty to “produce psychometrical sound depictions of the frequency of modern discrimination” (Gomez & Trierweiler, 2001).

Another aspect is the social desirability effect. Honesty of the respondents is difficult to assess when such a controversial issue is discussed, as a local newspaper revealed that 84% of the Maltese population believes that immigration is a national crisis, even though 90% are misinformed about the

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issue (Debono, 2009). Many formed misconceptions about immigrants, such as asserting that the country is being swamped without knowing the exact number of migrants leaving the country. The biggest concern seemed to be losing jobs due to the influx of unskilled workers (32%), although only 5.3% reported that they had such an experience (Debono, 2009).

For logistical reasons, Gozo was not included in the study. It comprised the last district by itself. Each district is assigned a set number of police officers, and to obtain enough questionnaires from that district would have been difficult to achieve. The Gozitan district would have also diluted the sample as the cultural environment would have differed from Malta, however without Gozo this study does not give a holistic and representative perspective on how Maltese police officers perceive immigrants.

6.3 Recommendations for Further Research

A control group consisting of members of the Maltese populations would be very valuable in order to extrapolate the reasons why the police force scored the way they did. Moreover, comparing the Maltese police force with the Gozitan police force might yield interesting results. Finally the study could be reproduced on foreign police forces in other countries to eliminate any bias enclosed in the research tool.

6.4 Final Note

There is no magical policy or political party which will end the effects of globalisation and immigration. It is a reality that everyone has to come to terms with. Simply expressing racist behaviour and inciting intolerance is only the simple and naïve way to deal with the issue. What is crucial at this

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point is the concept of integration, which is different from assimilation. When an immigrant individual is assimilated into the host country’s dominant culture entails that the same individual will lose the unique culture identity, or individuality. On the other hand, integration entails that an individual from a foreign culture with different values, integrates into the host country’s culture to make it more dissimilar. The keyword here is diversity. Yet the original ideal of integration should incorporate the idea of reciprocity, giving rise to a mutual integration.

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Appendix Questionnaire Instructions/Istruzzjonijiet
This questionnaire is administered to collect information for my psychology thesis. The topic of this research is about Immigrants in Malta. The information given is CONFIDENTIAL and will only be used for the purpose of this study. There are no right or wrong answers. This questionnaire is anonymous, so please DO NOT SIGN YOUR NAME. Dawn il-questionnaire hu maġħmul biex jittieħdu informazzjoni fuq it-tesi tieġħi. Is-suġġett huwa limmiġranti hawn Malta. L-informazzjoni mniżżla se tkun KUNFIDENZJALI u se tintuża ġħall-istudju tieġħi biss. M’hemmx risposti tajbin jew ħżiena. Peress li l-questionnaire huwa anonimu, jekk joghbok TIFFIRMAX ismek. This questionnaire will measure attitudes towards a specific minority group. There are 19 statements in total – divided in two sections. Each question is followed by a Likert scale. Il-questionnaire se jkejjel lattitudnijiet fuq minoranża specifika f’Malta. Hemm 19 mistoqsija, maqsumin f’zewg sezzjonijiet. Wara kull mistoqsija hemm skala mil 1 sa 5. e.g. People generally respect police officers. Il-publiku generalment jirrispetta l-puluzija. Agree/Naqbel 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree / Ma naqbilx

If you strongly agree to the above statement, then circle 1. If you strongly disagree, then circle 5. Jekk taqbel immarka l-1, jekk ma taqbilx immarka l-5. Please respond to all the questions as honestly as possible. Jekk joġħbok prova rrispondi kull mistoqsija. Nirringrażżjak tal-interess u l-partecipażżjoni,

Andre Vella

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Tick where appropriate. Immarka fejn suppost:

1. Gender (Male/Female): ____________________ 2. Age: ___________________________________ 3. Rank: Police Constable Sergeant Sergeant Major Inspector Superintendent Assistant Commissioner Deputy Commissioner Commissioner 4. How long have you been working in the police force? (years) Kemm ilhek impjegat mal-puluzija? (snin) ______________________________________________________________________ 5. Town of police station (lokalita’ tal-ġħassa): _________________________________ 6a. Do you know or have known anyone who was an immigrant? (Yes/No) Taf lil xi immigrant b’moġħod personali? (Iva/Le) _________ 6b. If YES, please specify the relationship (e.g. Sibling, friend, neighbour etc). Jekk Iva specifika rrelażżjoni (eż. Familja, ħabib, ġirien etc) ______________________________________________________________________ 7. Would you rate your general relationship with Immigrants as positive or negative? Ir-relażżjoni ġenerali tieġħek mal-immigranti hija waħda pożittiva jew negattiva? ______________________________________________________________________

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First Section

1. The basic reason for many of the social and economic problems that immigrants in Malta suffer from are due to their own mental weaknesses. Ir-raġuni principali li l-immigranti ġħandhom problemi socjali u ekonomici hawn Malta hija li m’humiex intelliġenti biżżejjed. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

2. Even though there are some exceptions, it seems that most immigrants simply lack those qualities that Maltese community members should have. Il-maġġoranza tal-immigranti m’ġħandhomx kwalitajiet biex jintegraw ruħhom fis-socjeta’ Maltija.

Disagree / Ma naqbilx

1

2

3

4

5

Agree/Naqbel

3. Immigrants should live in protected places because of the dangers in Maltese society. F’Malta limmigranti ġħandhom ikunu protetti f’postijiet sejf minħabba l-perikli li hemm fis-socjeta Maltija . Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

4. It would be unwise for a Maltese local to marry an immigrant. Ma jkunx ġħaqli jekk Malti jiżżewweġ immigrant. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

5. Immigrants do not have the character strength that most of the Maltese have. L-immigranti m’ġħandhomx karatru b’saħħtu daqs tal-Maltin. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

6. It seems that immigrants do not take the opportunities offered by society. Milli jidher limmigranti ma jiehdux vantaġġ mill-opportunitajiet li ttijhom is-socjeta Maltija. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

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7. Like all people, immigrants have goals and meanings in their lives. Bħal kulħadd, l-immigranti ġħandhom ġħanijiet u skop f’ħajjithom. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

8. Immigrants often commit crimes. L-immigranti jiksru l-ligi regolarment. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

Second Section

1. Society takes more care of immigrants than is fair to other groups. Is-socjeta tieħu ħsieb limmigranti aktar minn gruppi oħra li ġħandhom bżonn l-ġħajnuna. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

2. Immigrants are getting too demanding in their push for equal rights. L-immigranti qedġħin jistennew iż-żejjed mil-‘equal rights’.

Disagree / Ma naqbilx

1

2

3

4

5

Agree/Naqbel

3. Immigrants have more to give to Maltese society than they have been given the opportunity to. L-immigranti jistaw jaġħtu aktar lis-socjeta Maltija jekk intuhom cans.

Disagree / Ma naqbilx

1

2

3

4

5

Agree/Naqbel

4. Most immigrants are no longer victims of discrimination in Malta. Il-maġġoranża tal-immigranti f’Malta m’humiex vitmi ta diskriminazzjoni. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

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5. It is the right of immigrants that sometimes get special support from society to find appropriate jobs. Huwa dritt tal-immigrant li jkollu ġħajnuna biex isib impjieg. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

6. Immigrants are getting enough help from society. L-immigranti qieghdin jieħdu biżżejjed ġħajnuna minġħand is-socjeta’. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

7. Immigrants get too little attention from the media. L-immigranti ġħandhom ftit attenzjoni mil‘media’. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

8. Immigrants are in general treated in the same way as Maltese locals in society. Ġeneralment limmigranti jigu trattati bħall-Maltin. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

9. Negative attitudes in society make the lives of immigrants difficult. Atitudnijiet negattivi jaġħmlu il-ħajja tal-immigrant difficli. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

10. It is easy to understand that immigrants and their relatives still struggle against the injustice they suffer in society. Huwa facli li wieħed jifhem li l-immigrant u l-familja tieġħu ġħadhom ibatu l-ingustiżżji fis-socjeta’. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

11. There have been enough help given to immigrants. Is-socjeta tat biżżejjed ġhajnuna lillimmigranti. Disagree / Ma naqbilx 1 2 3 4 5 Agree/Naqbel

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