Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Faidra Papavasiliou

Second Advisor

Dr. Cassandra White

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennie Burnet


The relationship between the police and the public is largely mediated through policing practice and procedure. The perspective of the officer on the individual level, as well as that of the cumulative police force of a community, frames these practices, ultimately influencing the types of interactions that play out between officers and civilians. This paper looks at the ways in which police officers perceive their communities, their jobs, and themselves in the larger practice of policing. Based on ethnographic research on police in the Atlanta area, this work focuses on the perspective of police officers, and how they are affected by training and their experiences in law enforcement. This study suggests that an ontological shift, which is experienced through training and working as a police officer, contributes to a conceptual division between the police and the public for officers, affecting larger public relations.