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Intersectional Subjection and Law Enforcement: Examining Perceptions Held by LGBTQ People of Color in New Orleans, LA

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $150,000)

This research seeks to explore the impact race, gender, and intersecting identities have on interactions with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). A 2011 Department of Justice report detailing the investigation of the NOPD highlights the presence of discriminatory policing practices against people of color and members of the LGBTQ community. Within the report, the Department of Justice specifically discussed biased policing with stops, arrests and other encounters between the NOPD and Latinos, Blacks, and the LGBTQ community. People of color who identify as LGBTQ, particularly trans-women of color, are highly stigmatized within the United States. As a result, this study focuses on the interactions, experiences, and perceptions held by people of color who identify as LGBTQ. Intersectional subjection, the process in which governmentality is used to marginalize and subjugate individuals with multifaceted identities, is used to analyze individual perceptions related to interactions with law enforcement officers. We propose a community based, mixed-method Q-study to examine participant perspectives of law enforcement personnel in New Orleans. With support from local community based organizations, we first, will conduct narrative interviews of 25 New Orleans residents who are of color and identify as LGBTQ. Participants will be asked to share experiences and interactions with members of the New Orleans Police Department. With the same 25 participants, we will then use the data collected from narrative interviews to conduct Q-sorts in order to empirically answer: In what ways do LGBTQ people of color perceive intersectional subjection when interacting with the New Orleans Police Department? While previous research has been conducted exploring the socio-legal landscape of race, sexual orientation, and law enforcement, little to no studies have focused on the perspectives of the individuals directly impacted by discriminatory policing. Findings from this study will 1) help amplify the voices of those at the intersection of race, gender and LGBTQ identification, 2) inform how prevalent intersectional subjectivity is in interactions with the NOPD and 3) inform policy to decrease the effects of targeted discrimination, social control, and marginalization of those at the intersection of race, gender and LGBTQ identification. Expected products from this study include peer reviewed journal publications, white papers, publications in popular media outlets, a community-based initiative designed to help address the marginalizing effects of discriminatory policing in New Orleans, and a (proposed) book with Rutgers University Press. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 19, 2016