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7 Feminist Criminology 3 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/femcrim7 and id is 1 raw text is: 





Doing, Redoing, and

Undoing Gender:

Variation in Gender

Identities of Women

Working as Police Officers


          Feminist Criminology
                  7(1) 3-23
          @The Author(s) 2012
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  DOI: 10.1177/155708511 1413253
          http://fcx.sagepub.com
               OSAGE


Merry Morashl and Robin N. Haarr2



Abstract
For a study of police women's identities, qualitative data were generated from in-
depth interviews with 21 women  working in two metropolitan police departments
and varying in race, ethnicity, rank, and tenure. Most women identified female-male
differences but noted exceptions. Many felt characteristics concentrated among
women   enhanced job performance, and men's characteristics damaged performance.
Several insisted that sex-category differences in key attributes accounting for good
police work were  nonexistent or minimal. Women   do not simply reproduce old
female-male stereotypes and the hierarchies that devalue female-associated traits.
They fashion complex, positive occupational identities that are not necessarily tied
to their sex category.


Keywords
gender identity, women, police


There is considerable empirical evidence of a persisting belief that police work is an
inappropriate job for women; this belief rests on the view that women and men have
essentially different characteristics and that only men's characteristics support effec-
tive police work. At the same time, in some police departments, individuals recognize
a broadened range of qualities required for police officers to do their jobs well. In many


'Michigan State University, East Lansing, Ml, USA
2Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, USA

Corresponding Author:
Merry Morash, Michigan State University, School of Criminal justice,
560 Baker Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824
Email: Merry.Morash@ssc.msu.edu

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