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How Different Ethnic Groups React to Legal Authority
Yuen J. Huo and Tom R. Tyler

July 2000

Full Report
[PDF, 151K]

Short Summary
[PDF, 19K]

Press Release

Some California policymakers are concerned that tensions between minority communities and legal authorities may impede the functioning of the legal system.   Increasing ethnic diversity within the state has also raised questions about the extent to which the legal system should accommodate the different expectations members of various ethnic groups may bring to their interactions with legal authorities.  In How Ethnic Groups View Legal Authority, Yuen Huo and Tom Tyler show that perceptions of unfair treatment among African Americans and Latinos are linked to lower levels of satisfaction with legal authorities. They also find widespread consensus among whites, African Americans, and Latinos on what constitutes fair treatment.  Finally, they conclude that a strong sense of ethnic identity among residents does not impede law enforcement, but that a weak sense of American identity does.

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