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For many candidates, the decision to join the police force is neither a matter of mere chance nor of necessity, but results much more from a real attraction for the police profession, perceived as a match for individual aspirations which combine a desire to be useful and a taste for action. This “police vocation” can then be analyzed as the product of dispositions forged from childhood and adolescence, which make the idea of becoming a patrol officer imaginable. But, as this idea materializes (first steps into the profession, possible appointment to the position of junior police officer, sitting recruitment tests), the vocation is consolidated and imposes a form of work on oneself which in return reinforces the dispositions of which it is the product. Thus, even before being recruited, candidates already recognize themselves in the institution, and show themselves fully prepared to be trained by it and to join those who are already members. However, the construction of this vocational relationship to the coveted position is not accompanied by a full homogenization of their dispositions, their visions of the world, and their representations of the police, nor, consequently, of the modalities according to which they are ready to commit. As such, it cannot be considered as a guarantee of a perfect and lasting fit to the role.

  • Police
  • Vocation
  • Institution
  • Recruitment
  • Socialization
Frédéric Gautier
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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