Police students’ social background, attitudes and career plans
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Purpose: To compare the social background of Norwegian and Swedish police students. Are there differences in the students’ social background, and if so, are such differences reflected in different attitudes and career plans among the students? Design/methodology/approach: The questions are explored on the basis of survey data on all Norwegian and Swedish police students who started their education in 2009 (N=737). The methods employed are cross-tabular analysis and multivariate linear regression. Findings: The results show that a larger proportion of Norwegian police students have highly educated parents, compared to the Swedish. However, students’ social background does not seem to be important for their orientation towards theory and knowledge or their plans for doing operational police work. Practical implications: An important question for the future’s police educators is whether a study with a formal bachelor status will attract a different type of students. These results show that the Norwegian police education with a formal bachelor degree attracts more students with highly educated parents, but the importance of attracting students with a given social background to the police profession seems to be limited. Originality/value: There are no previous comparative studies on recruitment to police education, or studies of police recruitment that focus especially on the importance of social background.
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