Utilizing Goffman’s Concepts of Impression Management and Stigma in Understanding the Aftermath of Officer-Involved Shootings: Exploring the Intersection With Masculinity

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Officer-involved shootings have been the subject of much recent theoretical and political discussion. Extant research fails to explore how such shootings impact the physical, emotional, and psychological health of officers, work colleagues, family, and friends. Socially constructed roles of what it means to be a tough/stoic (and most likely male) police officer, and the impression management necessary to maintain this façade, stigmatize this discussion. The current work aims to better understand officer-involved shootings from the perspective of the officer and those closest to him. Utilizing Goffman’s concepts of stigma and impression management, we aim to better understand consequences of officer-involved shootings from an often-hidden perspective focusing on how this intersects with masculinity.

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