1. What is the role authority plays in society?
• To prevent and control conduct widely recognized as threatening to life and property
• To aid individuals who are in danger of physical harm, such as the victims of violent attack
• To facilitate the movement of people and vehicles
• To assist those who cannot care for themselves, the intoxicated, the addicted, the mentally ill, the physically disables, the old, and the young
• To resolve conflict, whether it be between individuals, groups or individuals, or individuals and their government
• To identify problems that have the potential for becoming more serious problems
• To create and maintain a feeling of security in communities
Goldstein, H. (1977). Policing a Free Society. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger
a. For society to function correctly, what attitudes should people have towards authority figures?
I feel authority demands respect and polite attitudes even in the most stressful situations. When you respond politely to people in authority, you are more likely to get a positive result from the encounter or at least avoid a disagreeable conflict which will, in turn, affect how you feel and behave when dealing with other authority figures you meet afterwards.
2. What incidents occur in society where people question authority figures and their commitment to protect and to serve all people equally?
We can pick up the paper on any given day and find a incident in society that makes people question law enforcements commitment to protect and serve equally. The one that comes to most people’s mind, I’m guessing, is the “Rodney King incident”; a “use of force scenario” that just happened to be played out on the nightly news. Society was able to see law enforcement, in action, exercising force. I’m not going to get into a debate over whether it was excessive, or not, because that’s not what the...