Civic debates have long focused on the variation of behavior that accompanies social
classes. A common observation is that members of the higher social classes exhibit unethical
conduct more frequently than those in, the lower heights. Trautmann, de Kuilen and Zeckhauser
(2012) base their argument on the premise of rising income inequality in society, where wealth
and power are skewed to a small portion of the population. The powerlessness of the poor to rise
above this challenge has resulted in a permanent boundary between those in the top and lower
tiers of life. In this sense, unethical behavior is attributed to the poor income distribution in the
world today. The poor are bound to engage in socially unacceptable behavior to survive. Piff et
al. (2012) postulate that the members of the upper classes behave unethically because of the
greater access to resources, freedom, and autonomy from the other classes. In other words, the
upper classes have financial power that gives them the capacity to escape the consequences of
immoral conduct.

Question 2

Police subculture is a summation of all the beliefs, attitude and conducts retained by the
members of law enforcement. According to Lee et al. (2013), police have exhibited paranoia,
treating the public as untrustworthy and potentially hostile. On the surface, this conduct might
bring out a sense of solidarity, but the ethical implications are dire. Police subculture, according
to Lee et al. (2013), advocates for secrecy, continually viewing the public as the enemy causing
alienation, and the ability to use and justify violence. The outcome of such conduct in law
enforcement includes reduced accountability, increased corruption and a force that is incapable
of detecting violent officers. Police officers, who were hired, trained and took an oath to protect justice and fairness, end up corrupt. The unconscientious behavior is attributed to upholding the
subculture and its values that have caused a significant number of police force members to
deviate from the just path. Misconduct in law enforcement is on the rise as police officers take on
bribes to forego legal actions and penalties to be rendered to individuals and organizations.
Finding ways to minimize the penetration of police subculture is an excellent way to start
reducing misconduct and unethical behavior in law enforcement.


Lee, H., Lim, H., Moore, D. D., & Kim, J. (2013). How police organizational structure correlates
with frontline officers’ attitudes toward corruption: a multilevel model. Police Practice
and Research, 14(5), 386-401. doi:10.1080/15614263.2011.635483
Piff, P. K., Stancato, D. M., Cote, S., Mendoza-Denton, R., & Keltner, D. (2012). Higher social
class predicts increased unethical behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences, 109(11), 4086-4091. doi:10.1073/pnas.1118373109
Trautmann, S., Van de Kuilen, G., & Zeckhauser, R. (2012). Social Class and (Un)ethical
Behavior: Evidence from a Large Population Sample. PsycEXTRA Dataset.

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