Vaisey applied his theory at the individual level in contemporary settings without consideration of historical and community-level processes.However, his emphasis on nonconscious and conscious levels of collective motivation helps account for the historical persistence of the cultural frame of legal cynicism in police–community relations.Our elaboration emphasizes that historical change and cumulative continuity in disadvantaged minority community experiences (18) lead residents to simultaneously and persistently mistrust police but seek their protection and crime prevention (6). We first summarize Vaisey’s (13) dual-process model.This model distinguishes two levels of discursive and practical consciousness that respectively involve more and less cognitive awareness and that can explain the paradox of high levels of 911 calls in minority communities.It is high in racially isolated communities (15) but paradoxically stimulates calls for more police assistance.Third, we consider the impact of another variable—procedural justice—commonly used to explain neighborhood crime reporting. (7), and others, procedural justice theory posits that residents’ views about the legitimacy of the police and their trust and confidence in police explain residents’ reporting of crime.
We argue that neighborhood-level legal cynicism that arises from police failures in prevention and protection more strongly influences crime reporting and undermines police–community relations in minority neighborhoods.Independent of police reports of crime, we find that neighborhood racial segregation in 1990 and the legal cynicism about crime prevention and protection it engenders have lasting effects on 911 calls more than a decade later, in 2006–2008.Our theory explains this persistent predictive influence through continuity and change in intervening factors.We show how structural forces combine with legal cynicism and contribute to neighborhood variation in 911 calls for help despite distrust of police.Our results suggest police failures to prevent crime and provide protection—more than procedural legitimacy—explain America’s racially troubled police–community relations. He notes that in interviews people’s narratives about their thoughts are often contradictory, suggesting both processes and a divided self. It is the enduring, internalized nature of these schema-driven choices that make them persistent rather than transitory.Harding and Hepburn (18) emphasize the usefulness of Vaisey’s theory for neighborhood effects, suggesting that neighborhoods influence the narratives available to residents and thus “play some role in enabling and constraining certain courses of action” (p. Dual-process theory points to a collective process that explains the central role of the cultural frame of legal cynicism in 911 calls.