Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Advisor(s)

Lynn Horton and Tekle Woldermikael


This study centered around determining if law enforcement is a new mechanism of social control which targets Black women in a distinct way. Social control are those processes that work in society through various mechanisms in order to regulate groups into certain conformity. Social control against Black Americans has taken violent form through the institutions of slavery, lynching and police brutality. However, a significantly gendered pattern of social control, which has its history in racialized narratives, has made Black women’s experience with police distinct in America. Theory was grounded in a general Marxian principium through Joseph Gusfield as well as an essential incorporation of racial and gender analysis by Angela Davis and Patricia Hill Collins. Theorists provided the framework for the particular racial myths that aggregate the ability for law enforcement to commit heinous crimes against a marginalized group, specifically because of a social disenfranchisement. Research was conducted through a content analysis of news articles from the past five years where reports of sexual abuse state that police officers are the perpetrators. The purpose of this study is to provide a greater awareness of the violent and particular oppression of Black women through the sanctioned force of social control in this country.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.