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Reference:

Formation of a social portrait of a police officer of the Russian Federation at the present stage

Shatskaya Ekaterina Aleksandrovna

PhD in Sociology

Associate Professor at the Department of General Legal Training at East Siberian Institite of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

644082, Russia, Irkutskaya oblast', g. Irkutsk, ul. Lermontova, 110

Katerina_shat@mail.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.7256/2454-0692.2022.3.37613

EDN:

IWRFOQ

Received:

27-02-2022


Published:

04-07-2022


Abstract: In the last decade, interest in the image of a police officer has been increasing. The ongoing changes affect all spheres of life of modern society, the public perception of the police is also changing, which also actualizes the topic under consideration. The term "social portrait" or "sociological portrait" appears quite often in the scientific literature. However, a number of studies have not even attempted to justify the need for the use of this term in any way. In principle, this term was also not deterministic in a practice-oriented environment. The absence of a methodological description is characteristic not only for modern researchers, but also for Soviet scientists who quite often used the term "social portrait", meaning by it some abstract generalized characteristic of a certain social class. The object of the study is the social portrait of a police officer. The subject of the study is the basic components that influence the formation of a social portrait of a police officer. The goal-setting of the formation of a social portrait at the present stage is determined by the attitude of police officers to their professional activities, promotion, the socio-psychological atmosphere within the team, the attitude of police officers to family and marriage, money and recreation. The scientific novelty lies in the proposed approach to the formation of a social portrait of a police officer, the peculiarity of which is the definition of basic components that allow identifying the characteristic features of this social group. The main methods of obtaining information can be a questionnaire survey, interviews, content analysis. The practical significance lies in the fact that the information obtained can be used in scientific, pedagogical, practical work when considering issues related to the formation of personnel and reserve, training of employees according to professional training programs, moral and psychological support, social guarantees, etc.


Keywords:

social portrait, police officer, professional qualities, behaviour, result, service, worldview, social well-being, requirement, motive

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Over a long period of time since the birth of sociology as a science, interest in various social groups has only increased. Political, economic, social conditions, ideological attitudes, behavioral reactions, beliefs and foundations are changing, but the need to study the characteristic features of social (professional) groups does not lose its relevance. The concept of "social portrait" is widely used in modern sociology. In particular, researchers in the field of social psychology use this term in their scientific papers. For example, the social portrait of youth, students and age groups is considered in the studies of L.A. Belyaeva [4], A.I. Kovaleva, V.A. Lukov [11]. The social portrait of police officers is described in the works of S.A. Alekseev [2], A.M. Vorobyov [5]. It should be noted that public opinion about the activities of the police can be formed, including on the basis of a social portrait of a police officer. Research on the study of public opinion is reflected in the works of M.K. Gaidai, V.A. Ilchenko, Kapralov S.V., E.A. Shatskaya [6, 8, 10, 15].

Despite the fact that the problems of organizing the service of police officers, public opinion about their activities and other aspects of this profession are attractive for scientific analysis, the question of the approach to the study of social portrait remains open. Analyzing the published scientific works on this topic, attention is drawn to point studies of the social porter of a police officer. S.A. Alekseev, D.A. Shpilev, E.N. Shlyagina very accurately note that insufficient attention is paid to the collection and analysis of empirical data obtained as a result of a survey of employees themselves. At the same time, the research conducted by them [2] covers only a part of the issues of interest to us.

Referring to previously conducted studies, it was revealed that scientists did not come to a single scientifically based definition of the concept of "social portrait". The article notes that the portrait translated from French "portrait" means "reproduction of something line by line". From this position, a social portrait is an integral characteristic of a social group, expressed in the most essential features of perception and display of social reality.

From an artistic point of view, A.V. Lunacharsky very precisely defined the term "social portrait": "this is when an artist in a particular "person" saw and showed a whole social stratum" [12]. V.I. Kazakov demonstrates very clearly the heterogeneity of this term, giving the "social portrait" the status of a "concept", in the study of which clear strategies are not used. [9] In general, a social portrait is an abstract generalized characteristic (arithmetic mean) of a certain social community; a holistic description of the social essence of an object.

I would like to draw attention to the use of various options in the use of portraits. For example, a forensic portrait, which is a collective concept. Thus, N.M. Malykhina defines the content of a forensic portrait as a set of information about the biological, psychological and social properties of a person [13]. L.Ya. Drapkin, V.N. Dolinin, A.E. Shuklin identify the concept of a forensic portrait with psychological, with verbal portraits [7].

In science, a criminological portrait is also known, which means a set of properties and traits that determine and preserve criminal behavior. In the works of O.R. Afanasyev, M.V. Goncharov, the important indicators studied when compiling a criminological portrait include gender, age, educational level, social composition and occupation of criminals [3].

The psychological portrait, implying subjective personal characteristics of a person, the peculiarities of the course of psychological processes, is interpreted in different ways in research. For example, V.V. Popov, Yu.Yu. Troichenko reveal it as a standard document containing morphological, socio-demographic characteristics [14]. More often, the psychological portrait of a person is studied by analyzing the following aspects: temperament, character, abilities, orientation, emotionality, intelligence, sociability, self-esteem, strong-willed qualities, self-control, ability to work collectively, motivation, social attitudes. We believe that it is possible to make a psychological portrait only if there is special knowledge, since various methods of personality research are used: questionnaires, psychological testing and interpretation of the results obtained, included observation. Of course, personal data, social status, basic biography (place of birth, significant events in life) are analyzed.

From the point of view of sociology, the term "social type" is close to the concept of "social portrait", by which it is customary to understand a certain set of people with similar socio-value attitudes, equal opportunities and social status [16]. Based on the definition of the term "social type", we believe that only in the context of socio-value attitudes can these concepts be considered as similar. Another position, revealing the basis of a social portrait in the form of a "mask", also cannot be fully justified. Undoubtedly, the social mask is one of the elements of the game in society, however, with the regular performance of certain actions, the "mask" becomes part of everyday life.

In our scientific search, a social portrait will be understood as an integrated description of the social essence of an object (social group), including a system characteristic of all its components, as well as social processes and relationships associated with it. The social portrait includes socio-demographic, economic, ideological characteristics, educational status.

In order to obtain objective data in the study of the social portrait of a group, it is important to cover most of the studied group. It is preferable to study the entire general population, but due to organizational and material difficulties, a sample population is formed. In fact, the study of any group is based on inductive reasoning, where a general idea of the studied group is formed on the basis of individual psychological data. In this regard, we can propose a classification of portraits. The first group includes a psychological portrait, the second a social one, which can be divided into criminological, criminological and others, depending on the objectives of the study.

In sociological science, research can be based on the search for both common and distinctive features of a group. A characteristic feature of these groups is either unity of action, or the territory of residence, or gender and age characteristics, or the amount of authority, or income level, or lifestyle. In other words, a social portrait is an integrated characteristic, the result of collecting and processing the information obtained using general scientific and private scientific methods.

The practical significance of drawing up a social portrait of a police officer lies in the formation of the need for personnel for police service; carrying out personnel measures for the qualitative selection of applicants for police service and for the creation of a personnel reserve; moral and psychological support of official activity.

It should be noted that a social portrait is not a research method, but a kind of generalization of the facts being studied, a grouping of material or an algorithm for studying. The formation of a social portrait of a police officer implies the definition of basic components, the study of which is possible with the use of a questionnaire survey, interviews, content analysis. Let's formulate the main components under study used in compiling a social portrait of a police officer.

1. Gender and age characteristics of police officers. In accordance with the Federal Law "On Service in the Department of Internal Affairs", the age limit for entering the service is 35-40 years, depending on the position, and the right to enter arises from the age of 18. A fairly wide age range of 18-40 years, respectively, there will be distinctive features in the ideological, socio-psychological components of persons entering the service of the internal affairs bodies for the first time. The proportion of men and women who have chosen this profession is interesting, as well as the turnover of personnel depending on the gender component.

2. Marital status. There is no doubt that the family is fundamental in the life of any person. The creation of one's own family significantly affects the values and behavioral reactions associated with risks in official activities. The creation of a family, the birth of children are social needs, along with work, the satisfaction of which becomes an incentive for further improvement in professional and personal areas.

3. Motives for joining the police. Motivational attitudes when choosing a profession further determine the employee's attitude to official duties, colleagues, and offenders. These may include: monetary maintenance, social guarantees, authority, career growth, the realization of a childhood dream, the desire to fight crime, the desire to avenge past grievances using official position, the example of parents and acquaintances, the presence of a real opportunity to influence people's behavior, public life, the opportunity to get an apartment, high prestige of the service the police.

4. Professionally important qualities of police officers: business, moral and psychological, integral. Any profession defines a set of professional and personal qualities that contribute to mastering this type of activity and bringing their skills to mastery. No special natural inclinations are required to fill positions in the police. However, striving and diligence in acquiring any abilities are acquired. The lack of desire in the development of psychological potential, including an individual psychological component, social and ideological, does not cause the lack of inclinations, but speaks about the peculiarities of upbringing, during which the necessary qualities were not formed. In this regard, self-education is also important. Therefore, studying the qualities of police officers will make it possible to understand their compliance with the requirements.

5. Regulators of their own behavior. The moral and ethical component in the official activity of a police officer affects the formation of an image. Interaction with different categories of citizens requires compliance with ethical standards. However, it should be understood that the police officer acts as a regulator of his behavior: social norms (norms of law and morality, traditions and rituals), habits, fear of punishment, advice from authoritative people, calculation, etc. This will make it possible to create a social image of a police officer, as well as to develop a set of measures to resolve moral and ethical problems in official activity.

6. Desired performance results. Personal interest in the conscientious performance of official duties will subsequently favorably affect the results. If a police officer is primarily focused, for example, on filling a certain position, obtaining another special title, or recognizing success from colleagues, then it is hardly possible to talk about a professional attitude to the case.

7. Desired time periods of service. When entering the service, most candidates think about career prospects, about realizing their potential. During the period of social and professional adaptation, the preferred time period of service is determined. The specifics of the police service leave an imprint on employees, in this regard, it is important to understand how long they plan to be in this profession. The shorter the service period, the higher the staff turnover, and this adversely affects the professional staff, respectively, the social portrait is unstable. The time periods of service can be determined: to serve until the age limit, before the right to a pension arises 12 years, less than 12 years, before the appearance of prospects in the civil service.

8. Assistance in achieving the desired results. In official activity, such a need as belonging to a professional group is of no small importance. Police service is one of the professions where every employee contributes to the common cause. Therefore, the result of official activity will depend on well-coordinated joint work. To understand the general orientation, it is necessary to determine what, in the opinion of the police officers themselves, will contribute to achieving the desired results: I hope only for myself, I expect help from colleagues, help is provided by management, help is provided by other persons holding certain positions (excluding internal affairs bodies).

9. The influence of police service on the worldview. Undoubtedly, any activity leaves an imprint on a person, on the one hand. And on the other hand, in the process of life, each of us in the period of growing up, crisis situations had to face a rethinking of our positions. In general, this contributes to the acquisition of life experience, emotional maturity, and a deep understanding of certain behavioral reactions. Various methods of psychological self-regulation play an important role in the professional work of a police officer. In this regard, it is necessary to study the spiritual component, the level of culture of a police officer, since we believe that the higher the level of culture, the more variable the decision-making process is, the search for alternative ways to solve the problem. Consequently, reading fiction, newspapers, magazines; visiting theaters, cinemas, exhibitions, expositions, libraries; passion for sports, fine arts, music, somehow have a beneficial effect on the personality of a police officer.

10. The impact of police service on social well-being. To answer this question, it is important to investigate the changes in the lives of police officers after the expiration of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 years of service. In this perspective, an analysis of existing problems is required, for example, such as: lack of time for family, regular quarrels in the family, constant financial difficulties, lack of own housing, inability to promote, high crime rate, constant stress in the service, bureaucracy in work, formalism in work on the part of the authorities, the inability to reflect real results (postscript or concealment), conflict relations with colleagues or management, some alertness of the environment in dealing with a police officer and his family members, the formation of personnel from unfavorable segments of the population (police service is considered as salvation from unemployment), etc.

Conducting a comparative analysis with previously conducted studies, we note that the proposed approach is based on a comprehensive study of the social portrait of a police officer. While the work of S.A. Alekseev, D.A. Shpileva, E.N. Shlyagina [2] reveals only the social well-being of police officers, based on the identification of the most pressing problems for the police officer, the opinion of the employees themselves on satisfaction with the conditions of service, social security and social conditions. In our proposed approach to the formation of a social portrait of a police officer, the importance of studying the selected basic components that allow us to track the dynamics of ongoing changes in the life and service of a police officer, in social, ideological, and labor aspects is determined.

Based on the above, we can conclude that a social portrait is not a visual image. A social portrait is an integrated characteristic of a social group, for example, a professional group such as police officers, recording the most common, frequently occurring features of the object under study.

By examining the basic components in the formation of a social portrait of a police officer, it will allow a comprehensive approach to solving personnel issues related to the formation of personnel and reserve, training of employees according to professional training programs, moral and psychological support, social guarantees.

References
1. Federal Law No. 342-FZ of 30.11.2011 "On Service in the Internal Affairs Bodies of the Russian Federation and Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation". Retrieved from http://base .garant.ru.
2. Alekseev, S.A. (2020). Social portrait of a police officer at the present stage. Actual problems of economics and law, 14 (2), 275-283.
3. Afanasyeva, O.R., Goncharova, M.V. (2016). Criminological portrait of the criminal's personality. Bulletin of the Moscow State University. Series: Jurisprudence, 3, 40-49.
4. Belyaeva, L.A. (2004). Social portrait of age cohorts in the period of reforms in Russia. Sociological research, 10, 31-41.
5. Vorobyev, A.M. (1991). Social portrait of an employee of internal affairs bodies. Sociological research, 5, 107-109.
6. Gaidai, M.K. (2020). The opinion of the youth of educational institutions of higher education about the activities of the police. Humanitarian vector, 15 (4), 195-199.
7. Drapkin, L.Ya. (2017). The use of a forensic portrait in the investigation of serial murders. Russian Legal Homicide, 4, 93-101.
8. Ilchenko, V.A. (2016). Public opinion about the police: on the problem of forming public trust in the police in Russia. Bulletin of the Nizhny Novgorod University named after N.I. Lobachevsky, 2, 133-136.
9. Kazakova, V.I. (2011). Social portrait as an object of phenomenological analysis. Bulletin of the Nizhny Novgorod University named after N.I. Lobachevsky. Social sciences, 1 (21), 32-38.
10. Kapralova, S.V. (2013). Public opinion about the police: theoretical and empirical aspects. Society and Law. 2013. No. 2 (44), 274-277.
11. Kovaleva, A.I., Lukov, V.A. (1999). Sociology of youth. Theoretical questions. M.
12. Lunacharsky, A.V. (1906). Social psychology and social mysticism. Education, 5-6, 55.
13. Malykhina, N.M. (2013). Criminalistic portrait of a person who committed a crime: concept, types, basics of construction. Scientific Bulletin of the Omsk Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, 1 (48), 20-23.
14. Popov, V.V., Troichenko, Yu.Yu. (2019). Psychological portrait as a way to identify a person. Jurist-Pravoved, 3 (90), 137-141.
15. Shatskaya, E.A. (2021). The opinion of students about the professional activities of police officers (sociological analysis). Scientific Digest of the East Siberian Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, 2 (12), 91-98.
16. Yakubovsky, A.E. (2001). Social type-a hypothesis and a tool for the study of social structure. Sociological research, 4, 131-133.

First Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The article "Theoretical and methodological understanding of the phenomenon of the social portrait of a police officer" presented for review is devoted to the topical topic of studying the characteristic features of social (professional) groups. Since the authors in their article study the social portrait of a police officer in modern Russia, it would be more logical to focus on this in the title of the article. In addition, any social group is influenced by the specifics of the region of residence and professional activity. Therefore, we would recommend that the authors determine the region(s) of the study. For example: "Theoretical and methodological understanding of the phenomenon of the "social portrait" of a Russian police officer at the present stage." The theoretical and methodological foundations of the study were the works of Russian scientists: on the study of the social portrait of youth, students and age groups (L.A. Belyaeva, A.I. Kovaleva, V.A. Lukov), on the study of the social portrait of police officers (S.A. Alekseev, A.M. Vorobyov), on the study of public opinion (M.K. Gaidai, V.A. Ilchenko, Kapralov S.V., E.A. Shatskaya). The authors propose that the methodology for studying the social portrait of a police officer should be based on the definition of basic components, the study of which is possible using a questionnaire survey, interviews, and content analysis. The authors formulate the main components under study (10) used in compiling a social portrait of a police officer, including: gender and age characteristics of police officers, the influence of police service on worldview, the influence of police service on social well-being, etc. However, in the article we did not have enough as reviewers: 1) a comparative analysis of the latest available research on the social portrait of a police officer. And there are enough of them. First of all, these are interdisciplinary studies by Alekseev S.A., Shpileva D.A., Shlyagina E.N. 2) content analysis of freely available materials, on the basis of which the authors identify structural components for compiling a social portrait of a police officer. The lack of comparative analysis and content analysis gave the article not a scientific, but rather a popular science genre. In addition, the lack of comparative analysis and content analysis does not allow us to identify the scientific novelty of the study. The bibliographic list contains 15 sources, which allows you to reveal the claimed topic. At the same time, it is necessary to add to the bibliographic list the normative legal acts that the authors cite in the article, including: Federal Law No. 342-FZ dated November 30, 2011 "On Service in the Internal Affairs Bodies of the Russian Federation and Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation". Considering the above, we recommend the article "Theoretical and methodological understanding of the phenomenon of the social portrait of a police officer" for publication after revision according to our comments.

Second Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

I consider the topic of social portrait to be extremely important for modern social and interdisciplinary research it gives a clear idea of the state of a particular social, socio-professional group or community. At the same time, despite the relevance of this topic, it should by no means be simplified, on the one hand, and on the other, it still needs theoretical and methodological research, because the principles of drawing up a social portrait are not always so obvious. From this point of view, I consider the claims of the author of the article to be quite justified. However, as for the title of the article, it cannot remain in this form: drawing up a social portrait of a police officer, if that is the author's goal, does not require theoretical and methodological understanding. Moreover, the social portrait as a phenomenon hardly fits into the framework of theoretical and methodological reflection, since it is a consequence of generalizations of certain qualities of representatives of a particular social group or community, i.e., in fact, it is a ready-made "product" of scientific analysis. Moreover, the author himself admits that "a social portrait is not a research method, but a kind of generalization of the facts being studied, a grouping of material or an algorithm for studying." It turns out, if we follow the logic of the author of the article, the study of a social portrait is nothing more than the study of the "learning algorithm". It turns out, to put it mildly, not very much. Meanwhile, in the content of the presented work, we see that for some reason the author considers social psychology as part of sociology, which is fundamentally wrong, in addition, he appeals specifically to the social portrait as an area of socio-psychological knowledge, which is also difficult to agree with. By the way, the author, although he included a theoretical and methodological understanding in the title of his work, makes a noticeable methodological mistake at the very beginning of the article: he focuses on the study of the social portrait. In fact, it is not a social portrait that needs to be studied it is already the result of scientific research based on the results of appropriate generalizations of the characteristics of the life and activities of representatives of specific social groups or communities. Thus, I categorically disagree with the author, who argues that "when studying a social portrait, one should pay attention to public opinion about the activities of the police." Rather, the opposite is true, public opinion about the activities of the police can be formed, including on the basis of a social portrait of a police officer. Some phrases in the text "hang in the air" because the author incorrectly constructed them, here is one such example: "Despite the fact that the problems of organizing the service of police officers, public opinion about their activities and other aspects ..." (probably the word was omitted); "referring to previously conducted research, it was revealed..." (grammatical error with adverbial turnover), etc. The author should be more attentive to the norms of the Russian language sending an article to an authoritative scientific publication and making such ridiculous mistakes is evidence of an insufficient level of research culture. It is not entirely clear why the author compares different types of portraits and thereby moves away from interpreting his own subject of research directly, namely, the social portrait, but still, if such a comparison is left in the text of the article, then it is necessary to note the advantages and disadvantages of each of the mentioned types in comparison with the social portrait. The author provides a definition of a social portrait, which he takes as a basis, but does not provide references to authorship. If the author himself gives such a definition, then for this it is necessary to provide a convincing justification, which I do not yet find in the text submitted for review. Thus, it is hardly possible to agree with the interpretation of the social portrait available to the author. In fact, the section of the article "Methodology for studying the social portrait of a police officer" presents not the actual methodology of study, but the methodology of formation. In addition, the word "methodology", I must say, is also inappropriate here, since the author does not actually offer any methodology, he only describes the structural elements of the social portrait of a police officer. There are no conclusions in the article, which makes it difficult to assess the advantages of the author's approach. Unfortunately, the article is rather weak in theoretical and methodological terms. I would still decide to reject it as a material with gross theoretical and methodological errors.

Third Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The subject of the study is public relations in the field of forming a social portrait of a police officer of the Russian Federation. The research methodology includes both theoretical aspects that take into account the legal and social characteristics of a police officer, the analysis of scientific papers, publications, and practical aspects, including public opinion about the activities of police officers and other aspects of the profession. The author applied historical and sociological methods, comparative, logical methods, analysis and synthesis. The relevance of the chosen topic is due to the most important social role of the profession, changes in current legislation. In addition, the police reform and its consequences are currently being reviewed. The role of the policeman in the life of society is increasing. The scientific novelty consists of a set of the author's conclusions and solutions presented in the article. The style of the article is logically justified by the chosen methods. The article is presented in the form of a scientific paper. The structure includes an introductory part, the main part and conclusions. The author's approach to the research is interesting in terms of content. Attention is drawn to the author's classification of the elements of the social survey, components of the social portrait of a policeman. The author's generalization of the facts being studied, grouping of the material or the algorithm of study. Namely: gender and age characteristics of police officers, marital status, motives for joining the police service, professionally important qualities, behavior regulators, desired results and time frames of service, assistance to a policeman in achieving desired results, influence on worldview, as well as the impact of service on social well-being. Each of the components is interesting both individually and in interrelation. Of interest is the author's opinion that the police service contributes to the acquisition of life experience, emotional maturity, and a deep understanding of certain behavioral reactions. Various methods of psychological self-regulation play an important role in the professional work of a police officer. In this regard, it is necessary to study the spiritual component, the level of culture of a police officer, since we believe that the higher the level of culture, the more variable the decision-making process is, the search for alternative ways to solve the problem. The author's suggestion that a social portrait is not a visual image is also interesting. A social portrait is an integrated characteristic of a social group, for example, a professional group such as police officers, which captures the most common, frequently occurring features of the object under study. The author believes that the proposed methods will allow to approach the solution of personnel issues related to the formation of personnel and reserve, training of employees according to professional training programs, moral and psychological support, social guarantees. The bibliography provided by the author covers an actual period of time, includes scientific and periodicals, legal regulations. The period 1991 - 2021 This satisfies the requirements for scientific works of this kind. The article may be of scientific and reader interest. I recommend it for publication.