Ethic of care approach

Ethic of care approach

topic: Ethic of care approach

For number 3, Case study from chapter 17: Mary Bloom is a chief of police. She worked her way up through the ranks, starting as a patrol officer at a time when women police officers were not taken seriously and were allocated tasks such as doing secretarial work, acting as matrons, or working with juveniles. In those days, the idea that a woman police officer could go on patrol like a male officer was considered laughable. Male officers, on the other hand, were assumed capable of being patrolmen, and no one used the term patrolwoman.

As a new recruit, Mary was the victim of practices that can variously be described as practical jokes, hazing, initiation rituals, or discrimination. One time, her field-training officer (FTO) told her to inventory the contents of a squad car, and when she opened the door, there was a large snake there! She recognized it as a harmless species, picked it up, and brought it to her FTO, whose turn it now was to be startled. She noted that other recruits were also subjected to these antics, such as being sent to the maintenance section for a sawdust pump, being told to fetch a “group tightener” to place on the end of a service weapon to improve aim, or finding shaving cream in their hats just before inspection.

Those officers who just accepted these jokes and didn’t complain were accepted, but the complaining officers were not. Mary opted not to make a fuss, and after a while, the jokes diminished and she became accepted. Later, she herself participated in these antics with the rookie police. As she climbed through the ranks, she noticed that these practices did not interfere with the daily police work because they happened during slow periods or after especially stressful events, when officers needed some relaxation and amusement.

Being promoted to police chief put Mary in charge of a large metropolitan area. She was the first female police chief, and one issue that she needed to pay attention to, following a request from the city manager, was the underrepresentation of minorities in the police department—minority officers made up only 3% of the force, and among the 300 officers, only two sergeants were minorities. As well, she was the only female above the rank of patrol officer. Responding to the need to bring in minorities, Mary went on a recruitment drive, and after four years, there was adequate minority representation. However, the issue was not dead.

Members of the African-American Law Enforcement Officers Association (AALEOA) and the Hispanic-American Law Enforcement Officers Association (HALEOA) were not satisfied. They claimed there existed an undercurrent of racism among command officers and supervisors, and at least one independent study confirmed this. They wanted this issue addressed, and Mary responded by organizing a series of seminars concerned with cultural diversity and sensitization. Every officer completed at least 16 hours of this training. In spite of this, the AALEOA and HALEOA members continued to voice their concerns and now began to allege being victims of “pranks” organized by senior officers. Mary’s command officers told her that these pranks were not racially motivated and were a ritual that all new recruits underwent, but the minority associations’ members remained unconvinced and believed the practices were discriminatory and racially based.

Question: After analyzing this issue applying an ethic of care approach, what should Chief Bloom do to resolve the situation?

Questions that can help for guidance: What linkages do you see between an ethic of care and virtue ethics? Explain with examples.
Explain how moral development is differentiated according to gender.
“Applying the ethic of care to the criminal justice system would bring about a more compassionate system.” Discuss three examples of areas within the criminal justice system where compassion might influence decision-making.
How would you apply the ethic of care approach to policing in a minority neighborhood with a reputation for high levels of crime? Include in your analysis the individual police officers and the alleged suspects as well as the department. Use case studies from the news media if you wish.
How would the ethic of care approach be applied to understanding sexual harassment, sexual assault, and the #MeToo movement?
Explain how a peacemaking approach can be applied to our system of corrections.

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