Discrimination Experiences and Trust in the Police – Evidence from the DeZIM.panel

About this Session


Fri. 12.04. 12:10



Authors – Lisa Walter, Sabrina J. Mayer.

Abstract :

While activist groups have been drawing attention to the problem of discrimination by institutions, such as the police, for quite some time, it has only recently come into the focus of social science research (e.g. Graevskaia 2022). Previous research has already analyzed how racist attitudes are spread within police authorities or what types of discriminatory behavior occur (e.g. racial profiling). However, the fundamental question how individual discriminatory experiences affect trust in institutions, especially the police, has only become a topic for research recently. Czymara and Mitchell (2023) for example have shown in a comparative study, that discrimination experiences, especially among children of immigrants, erode trust in the police. However, due to difficulties in data availability, they did only rely on a dichotomous measure for discrimination experiences that neither takes the frequency, nor the domains in which the experiences took place, into account. Furthermore, they had to aggregate respondents from different countries of origin. This can be problematic as discriminatory experiences vary heavily between subgroups (Finkeldey et al. 2022) and the effects of discrimination might depend on the domains in which they occur (Oskoii, 2018). In our paper we thus explore the effect of discrimination experiences on trust in the police for the case of Germany. We provide an in-depth analyses how different kinds of discrimination, for example political versus societal discrimination, racist as well as sexist discrimination experiences affect trust in police by using data from the DeZIM.panel, an offline generated random-samples online access panel providing an oversampling of immigrant-origin respondents. We examine whether these different types of discrimination have the same or different effects and whether there are group-specific differences between minority and majority members, and also between men and women.