Interview a law enforcement officer regarding his or her views about accepting gratuities.
During the interview with the officer, you will discuss the following topics related to gratuities: Determine from the officer the department’s official policy related to gratuities, and relate how strictly that policy is enforced. Discuss any unofficial code regarding gratuities. Does the officer feel that he or she should be allowed to accept small gratuities, such as free or discounted meals or coffee? Explore and report on the following questions:
Provide a detailed description of the interview with the police officer regarding acceptance of gratuities in their department. Discuss in detail 2 basic arguments against the acceptance of gratuities. Do you believe, based upon your reading of the topic of gratuities and your interview of the police officer, that gratuities lead to more serious breaches of ethics in law enforcement? Provide support for your assessment.
The positivist law here is that personality, every action of a human is controlled by the same standards of evaluation as society. The person’s personality is derived directly from society, it is society. Thus a scientific study of society is possible because there is cause and effect, there is a reaction to stimuli. Socialisation is the stimulation that people react to. For Parsons, laws can be discerned from humanity because people will react in predictable ways, mediated by norms, to the stimulation of events and socialisation. Thus sociology can be scientific, empirical and positivist. A major problem with Parson’s work is that it reduces human personality to being produced and organised solely by societal expectations and norms. This societal determinism fails to acknowledge or explain where certain feelings, motives and actions originate. Goffman argues that “it is . . . against something that the self can emerge. . . Without something to belong to, we have no stable self, and yet total commitment and attachment to any social unit implies a kind of selflessness. Our sense of being a person can come from being drawn into a wider social unit; our sense of selfhood can arise through the little ways in which we resist the pull.” (Goffman 196 p305) A favourite example of this for Goffman was that of mental patients in asylums. The total institution of an asylum probably forces more strict adherence to societal expectation than most other social situations by using methods such as drug induced control and disciplinary measures such as EST. Yet in these institutions, despite being forced to play the role of the mental patient, to conform to societal expectation), patients still resisted those expectations. The hoarding of banned materials being an example of this. The motivation to do this does not come from internalisation of norms, as the correct way to behave is to not horde banned items. It comes from a need to keep ones own identity, to satisfy needs and drives and wants. These needs drives and wants are absent from the Parsonian model and a full understanding or explanation of society and social actions needs to take them into account. “The maintenance of this surface of agreement, this veneer of consensus, is facilitated by each participant concealing his own wants behind statements which assert values to which everyone present feels obliged to give lip service.” (Goffman 1990 p20-21) The norms and laws that Parsons believes to control personality and society, are revealed by Goffman as only being a veneer. Furthermore Goffman states that other feelings and motives in fact influence social action, not just norms. If, as Goffman claims, the so called common standards of evaluation that Parsons identifies are in fact a veneer that hides other motives and feelings, then the actions of humanity are not as easily quantifiable, reducible to a scientific, positivist law, as Parsons first shows. Freud’s metapsychology deals with the general structure of mental life. For Freud there were three psychic structures. The first, the id, contains, “those basic drives we have by virtue of being human, of which sexuality is the most important.” (Craib 1989 p3) The Id is often equated to by Freud as being like an infant, demanding immediate satisfaction irrespective of societal expectations. The Id makes up the greatest part of the unconscious and it is in this unconscious realm of basic biologically influenced drives that the motivational forces that Parson’s can not identity come from. The Id influences personality. It is important to remember that, as opposed to biological instincts driving us to act like a shark would, a mindless automaton, “the unconscious is composed not of biological instincts but of the mental representations we attach to these instincts.” (Craib 1989 p4) Thus each individual creates their own mental representation for their drives thus meaning that every persons internal world has a different geography. This clearly poses problems for the positivist approach to personality and society and social action, as represented by Parsons here, for if reaction to stimulation is not predictable because each person acts differently, then universal scientific laws can not be established. The second structure of personality according to Freud, the ego or the ‘I’ is the central organiser of mental life. The third, the superego is thought of as the conscience. “The superego is the internalisation of external control which demands the renuncification of instinctual satisfaction in order that society might be formed and maintained.” (Craib 1989 p21) The superego is the part of personality that Parson’s identifies the part that internalises norms. The basic drives of the id demand immediate satisfaction, immediate gratification of those drives, these demands are contrary to the superego norms and morality, and the conflict has to be resolved by the ego. Our consciousness, predominantly consisting of the ego and superego, protects us from our own id impulses that, if they were followed, would leave it impossible for us to exist within society. Freud stated that “Civilisation depends upon repression…If we tried to gratify all our desires, sexual or otherwise, as and when they arose, society, civilisation and culture would vanish over night.” (Craib 1984 p195) For Freud the ‘I’, is the resolution of the conflict between the id biologically directed drives, and the superego’s societal restraints. Therefore personality is the site of the, hopefully, resolved conflict between the normative mind evaluated by common standards as Parsons identifies, and the basic id drives. These Id drives, as I shall show, influence personality thus influence social action and society. This being the case then Parsons’ explanation for personality is insufficient and so is the positivist claim for the scientific study of society. The positivist tenants of careful observation and measurement; quantification; formalisation of concepts – precision in definition; operationalisation of theoretical questions; mathematisation; logic and systemisation of theory; symmetry of explanation & prediction and objectivity cannot be applied to individualistic Id drives and impulses. “The desire to kill anyone who frustrates us thus becomes unconscious, but none the less remains.” (Craib 1989 p24) Evidence for these desires for Freud appears in slips, where the unconscious desire can ‘slip’ into conscious conversation. “Freud quotes the husband who supposedly said, ‘If one of us two die, I shall move to Paris.” (Craib 1989 p24) One can not scientifically measure how these unconscious desires influence and effect social action, especially since it can be so hard to identify them as existing in the first place. “A feature of human life is that an instinct such as the sexual instinct is not directed at any one object, but has to be socially channelled, in our society usually towards members of the opposite sex.” (Craib 1989 p4) “Human beings are restrained by social organisation from a free and good expression of their drives. Through its oppression, society forces people into neuroses and psychoses.” (Craib 1989 p19) For Freud the very problems that he and other psychoanalysts dealt with were in fact often as the result of the repression of id drives by the superego and societal repression. As such the very existence of neuroses and psychoses can be seen as evidence to the fact that this conflict does indeed exist, that the resolution of this conflict does indeed produce the ‘I’ with all its faults and problems. To fully understand society, sociology needs to be aware of societal pressures, the Parson’s personality through positivism, but also needs to recognise the other meanings and emotions that cannot be quantified, cannot be analysed scientifically. Sociology needs to use interpretivism and positivism together. In terms of this example, Parsons positivist models needs to be considered at great length and detail as he does indeed identify a huge force in shaping society, that of norms and how they do penetrate into the psyche and personality. However, a study that only concentrates on the positivist methodology misses the crucial aspects of personality that Goffman and Freud identify, and that is not in the interest of any sociologist. “Positivism may be dead in that there is no longer an identifiable community of philosophers who give its simpler characteristics unqualified support, but it lives on philosophically, developed until it transmutes into conventionalism or realism. And even if in its simpler philosophical forms it is dead, the spirit of those earlier formulations continues to haunt sociology.” (Halfpenny p120) In conclusion positivism’s attempt at scientific sociological methodology, though fallacious is admirable and certainly many of the aspects of positivism should be considered desirable. As quoted elsewhere, “positivism is a way of thinking based on the assumption that it is possible to observe social life and establish reliable, valid knowledge about how it works.” (Johnson p231) The desire for reliable, valid knowledge is of course a relevant and important sociological aim and some of the tools that positivism uses to try to reach such knowledge are useful and worthwhile. Careful observation, measurement; quantification; formalisation of concepts – precision in definition; operationalisation of theoretical questions; logic and systemisation of theory; symmetry of explanation and prediction and objectivity, if all of these tenants of positivism can at least be attempted in a sociological study then that sociological study will indeed be the better for it. However, sociological study needs to recognise, as Comte himself did, that these aims, in their fullest, are unobtainable and that those aims are not ends in themselves, rather a very rough guide to sociological methodology. As I have hopefully shown above, sociological analysis needs positivism, needs scientific methodology, but a carefully tempered and monitored positivism. The aim of sociology is understanding and that understanding should not be limited by methodology, especially a methodology that is inherently flawed. Positivism shows us how to analyse data, data that is essential to sociological understand, but that data must not be treated uncritically thus a synthesis of positivism and interpretivism is recommended. To study the social world using a strict scientific methodology is impossible, that does not, of course, mean that scientific methodology is not a useful and critical tool in sociological study.>GET ANSWER