Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

Committee Member

Marilyn Corsianos, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paul Leighton, Ph.D.


The social media conglomerate Facebook has dramatically grown over the past few years. As a result, many law enforcement officials -- specifically police -- have taken notice. Recently, this has translated into police departments nationwide adopting Facebook in their daily efforts to improve police performance. Extensive reports from news media outlets have documented the assortment of uses Facebook provides police personnel. It has been reported that police are not only using the tool to prevent crime, but also as an innovative way to engage and interact with the community. In an era of community policing, it is vital to explore whether or not the use of Facebook is a helpful tool in the improvement of, police community relations, or, whether it is causing more harms to specific communities and/or groups of people. This research using theories of critical race, feminist, and left realism will critically assess how one unidentified U.S. police department has utilized Facebook through an examination of both the gains and harms that are created.

Included in

Criminology Commons