All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

John H Copes

Advisory Committee Members

Natalie E Todak

Angela Dwyer

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) College of Arts and Sciences


Queer communities have historically had a strained relationship with the police. In recent years, scholars have begun to examine perceptions of the police by these communities in an attempt to fill an important gap in the literature. The current study examines perceptions of the police by queer women in Birmingham, AL. The focus on queer women is attributed to recent findings that queer women (lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc.) report more negative perceptions of the police than others in queer communities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 self-identified White, queer women about their experiences growing up, broad views about the police, and specific encounters they have had with the police. Findings indicate that White, queer women did not overwhelmingly hold negative perceptions of police. Rather, their perceptions were based on checking their privilege through feelings of empathy for minority groups. These feelings lead them to characterize themselves in one of two ways: a person with positive perceptions of police or a person with negative perceptions of police.



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