Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

“We are Seen as a Threat”: Police Stops of Young Ethnic Minorities in the Nordic Countries

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  • Randi Solhjell, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Elsa Saarikkomäki, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Mie Birk Haller
  • David Wästerfors, Lund University, Sweden
  • Torsten Kolind

This article focuses on the perspectives of young ethnic minorities in the Nordic countries who have experienced various forms of “police stops”, i.e. situations where the police stop them without any reference to a specific event of which the youth are aware. Analytically, the debate is positioned through an intersectionality approach of (un)belonging to majority societies. Across the Nordic countries, we found that the young people described five social markers as reasons for being stopped, namely clothing, hanging out in groups, ethnicity, neighbourhoods and gender. We argue that the police stops explicate how the young men in particular are often forced to think about themselves in terms of “a threat” to the majority and the attributes they have that make them seem like criminals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Criminology
Volume27
Issue2
Pages (from-to)347-361
Number of pages15
ISSN1205-8629
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

    Research areas

  • BEHAVIOR, CITIZENSHIP, CRIME, ENCOUNTERS, INTERSECTIONALITY, MALES, MASCULINITY, PEOPLE, PERCEPTIONS, YOUTH

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