WHAT IS THE ATTITUDE OF FUTURE POLICE OFFICERS TOWARDS THE DIVERSITY OF CITIZENS?

Evelina Viduoliene, Laima Ruibyte

Abstract


With regards to the refugee crisis in EU many questions were raised – what are the prevailing attitudes of the citizens to these challenges and how to increase their tolerance and social sensitivity of the citizens belonging to various minority groups. One of the most important factors influencing the formation of personality attitudes and humanistic values is education. Education for autonomy and open-mindedness can prepare students for citizenship in diverse society (Taylor, R.M., 2017). As researches show Lithuanians seem to have rather negative attitude toward immigrants and minority groups therefore the role of education is becoming increasingly important. So, the purpose of this study was to explore and assess the attitudes of students the future police officers towards immigrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, and other minority groups, analyzing them in the context of the general tolerance level, as well as of the acceptance of other minority groups and identifying the role of Education at the University in developing these attitudes.

Students of law enforcement university program do not consider Lithuanians as very tolerant. Females future officers consider themselves being more tolerant compared to males. Participants consider themselves as more tolerant persons compared to other Lithuanians. The concept of being tolerant does not include the attitude toward acceptance of asylum-seekers and immigrants. The level of tolerance in both gender groups is related to acceptance of persons with physical disability. Students express higher agreeableness to admission of asylum- seekers to Lithuania under such circumstances as family reunion, hunger, financial strain or natural catastrophes and the war. Only one third of the law enforcement program students stated that they discuss during the lectures the issues about asylum-seeking and immigration.


Keywords


attitudes immigrants; asylum-seekers; refugees; minority groups; future police officers; education

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