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Cynicism; Law enforcement--United States


An investigation and analysis of the concept of cynicism as part of a social process involving other sociological variables within two law enforcement agencies was undertaken. The major theoretical contention of this study was that within the law enforcement setting one consequence of employing certain organizational control mechanisms has been an accompanying generation of social strain relative to such control mechanisms. The Niederhoffer scale was employed as an objective measure of cynicism. Extended interviews were conducted with those who scored high on the cynicism scale. Two major sources of social strain were indicated by the interview responses: (a) the area of promotion and the related power struggles; (b) the area of judicial processes and recent court decisions.

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