Doing Gender as Structured Action: Women Guarding Men

Daniel S. Murphy, Appalachian State University
Charles M. Terry, Saint Louis University
Greg Newbold, University of Canterbury
Stephen C. Richards, University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

This paper addresses a continuum of gender based presentation of self implemented by women correctional officers as survival mechanism to accommodate the social structure of men's prisons. Much research has been conducted amongst the general population analyzing the role of gender in presentation of self. Over the past two decades the number of women working in male prisons as correctional officers has significantly increased (data). Lacking in this research is analysis of the influence of gender role upon women whose job it is to guard men. The discussion of styles of presentation of self implemented by female prison guards lays foundation for a discussion of policy recommendations intended to enhance the efficacy of women whose job it is to guard men, and to improve the interaction between male prisoners and female guards.

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Updated 05/20/2006