Policing Masculinities

Louise Westmarland, University of Leicester

It has been suggested that male police officers are the purveyors of a unique form of occupational masculinity. Publicised cases of sexual harmment and discrimination, which have come to light in the past few years in the UK, tend to support this assumption. Substantial out of court settlements seem to suggest that despite numerous attempts to reform what has been described as police 'canteen culture', a solutlion appears elusive. In this paper therefore, evidence will be presented from fieldwork with two British police forces to explore this supposedly masculinist culture. Various ways of explaining the interrelationships between men, power and identities will be analysed by theorising about maintenance of masculinities.

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Updated 05/20/2006