Analyzing Police Violence Against Men


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This is an active learning activity where students analyze media reporting on police violence through a sociological lens. The purpose of this activity is twofold. First, students will engage in a type of sociological research in the classroom – qualitative content analysis. Second, students will gain a critical perspective of police brutality by collecting and analyzing news articles, providing them with empirical evidence pertaining to police violence directed at men. In this decade alone there have been numerous high-profile shootings of black men. A predominant way people learn about these events is through mass media which greatly influences public response to this issue. It is important, therefore, that students develop a critical perspective about the underlying messages crafted by the media and the political divide surrounding the disproportionate amount of police violence directed towards black men.


Resource Type(s):
Scott T Grether
Aysha Bodenhamer 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
Class Level:
College 100 
Class Size:

Usage Notes:

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This activity is best utilized in a 75-minute class. It is possible, however, to conduct this activity in a 50-minute class. We provided the outline we used for this activity in both a 50-minute and 75-minute class. In our experience, discussing the patterns and major findings of each group requires...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
1.Execute a content analysis of news articles on police violence against men.
Assessment 1:
1.Enter data into a coding matrix provided by the instructor.
Goal 2:
2.Compare and contrast patterns of police violence found in these articles.
Assessment 2:
2.Answer reflection questions about the coding matrix which require students to compare and contrast collected data.
Goal 3:
3.Evaluate how these patterns may shape public opinion about police violence against men.
Assessment 3:
3.Answer critical thinking questions about the learning goals which require students to integrate assigned readings into classroom activity.

Files for Download:

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GretherBodenhamer_Class Outline_50-minute class.docx
GretherBodenhamer_Class Outline_75-minute class.docx
GretherBodenhamer_Activity Instructions.docx
GretherBodenhamer_Supplemental Activity Notes.docx