Subjective Obligation to Obey the Police in Diverse Societies: A Social Resistance Perspective

Roni Factor*, Maria Trotsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A sense of obligation to obey the police is an important predictor of public cooperation and compliance with the law. Minorities tend to feel less obligated to obey the police than the majority. Previous work based on the social resistance framework shows that the experiences that shape the lives and attitudes of minorities may encourage them to actively engage in a variety of everyday resistance acts against the majority group, which may include high-risk and delinquent behaviours. The present study tests this framework for the first time concerning the self-perceived obligation to obey the police while also considering different minority groups who experience varying levels of marginalization. We use a representative sample of about 1,100 Israelis from four minority groups - Muslims, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, ultra-Orthodox Jews and Jews of Ethiopian origin - along with the Jewish majority group. The results show that Muslims feel the least obligation to obey the police, followed by Jews of Ethiopian origin. Social resistance was negatively related to the self-perceived obligation to obey the police among Muslims and ultra-Orthodox Jews while controlling for demographic characteristics and previous theoretical explanations, namely procedural justice, self-help and anger.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Annals of Criminology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© International Society of Criminology, 2024.


  • ethnicity
  • minorities
  • obligation to obey
  • police
  • race
  • social resistance


Dive into the research topics of 'Subjective Obligation to Obey the Police in Diverse Societies: A Social Resistance Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this