Racial profiling and discrimination are is an increasing problem in the urban communities. Many people in the world are a victim of the racial stereotypes and racism because people give much importance to thinking about others (Anderson & Taylor, 2007). Considering an example that in North America and Pakistan are still impacted by the racial stereotype and racism. For example, the black males are not considered as good, and they are regarded as dangerous individuals as they are involved in crimes. The black males are also considered as aggressive (Fineman & Thomson, 2013). A Muslim male having beard is considered as terrorist though he is a noble man. Further, people who are well-dressed and wearing good clothes are considered as rich. There are certain races that are considered as harmful for the community and they are then criticized via the media such as television and internet.
All these are indication of the learned behavior that pave the way racial profiling of even those that are linked with already profiled people. The perspective of symbolic interactionist can also be used effectively for explaining the behavior of the officer on the basis of the social psychology. The changing dynamics of the society that involve interaction between the citizens and officers may exert their impact on the behavior of the officer and make them to the racially profile. It is a common sense understanding that policing that is racially biased present challenges for the police-community relations because police fails to do justice with the minorities. However, the sociological perspective is of the view that it is dependent on the behaviors, and even the same practices and policies that are used for production of the racial profiling can be used for controlling and eliminating them from the communities.
The police officers consider how individuals react when they are stopped from certain activities; they interpret the information, and later on use this in their own benefit and advantage. They symbolic interactionist perspective also considers how the racialized society and socialization exerts its influence on the solidarity feelings with an individual’s ethnic group and racialized group, and resentment towards others (Kirby et al., 2000). This may aggravate the citizens for challenging the authority of the officers if the citizens consider that their civil liberties were constrained, and their identities were challenged, and the police officers have adopted unethical or rude behavior towards them.
The symbolic interactionist perspective does not give direct explanation and reason of involvement of police in stopping the minorities, but it gives useful insight into the interaction between citizen and officer. Racial profiling exert several negative influences such as the credibility and the trust of the police officers is lost in the communities, the individuals start to live in fear in the society, and they do have the freedom to go anywhere they like. Racial profiling is, however, an act of the discrimination.
It affects all such as communities, citizens, and the police officers. The individuals who become a victim of racial profiling can be affected badly in several ways such as they may experience resentment, fear, stress, anxiety, humiliation, variation in moods, and anger. However, one important reason of the existence of racial profiling is the deeply penetrated attitudes of the society regarding race. It indicates the attitudes of people belonging to different races about the race. It is, however, a direct or the real outcome. People who experience racial profiling have to pay the price psychologically, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
In America, for controlling the crimes Stop and Frisk and SB 1070 were introduced that further paved the way to racial profiling. Stop and Frisk law represents a strategy for police officers in order to decrease the crimes by searching and stopping those individuals who look suspicious. SB 1070 was accepted by Arizona, and this was aimed to control the illegal immigrants so that the illegal activities can be controlled in the state.
Anderson, M., & Taylor, H. (2007). Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society. Nelson Education Limited, Canada
Back, L., & Solomos, J. (2000). Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader. Routledge, New York
Barak, G., Leighton, P., & Flavin, J. (2010). Class, Race, Gender, and Crime: The Social Realities of Justice in America. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Group, Inc., Plymouth
Boehler, P. (2013). Hong Kong's Ethnic Minorities Complain of Racial Profiling by Police. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from:
Fineman, Martha A., & Thomson, M. (2013). Exploring Masculinities: Feminist Legal Theory Reflections. Dorset Press, Dorchester
Kirby, M., Kidd, W., Koubel, F., Barter, J., Hope, T., Kirton, A., Madry, N., Manning, P., & Triggs, K. (2000). Sociology in Perspective. Heinemann Education Publishers, Melbourne