Is ‘real’ Police Work masculinely Gendered? Perceptions of Gender and Police Competences among Police Students in six European Countries

Lotte Bloksgaard, Silje Bringsrud Fekjær, Rasmus Juul Møberg

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This paper contributes to the debates of continuity and change of gender segregation in the labour market by analyzing perceptions of gender and competences in relation to different police tasks among police students in six European countries. The police is a male-dominated occupation associated with power, authority and physical strength. However, over the last decade there has been an increase of women in the police in several countries and at the same time there has been a shift from ‘policing by force’ to ‘policing by consent’ as a general ideal in most European countries (Reiner 2010) – emphasizing empathy, communication and as central competences in policing.
This paper explores perceptions of gender in relation to different types of police competences among new police students in six European countries. This is done via the following research questions: To what extent do police recruits in different European countries perceive men and women as equally suited for different types of police work? How do these perceptions vary dependent on the students’ gender and other background characteristics? And finally, are there differences between countries even when we take the recruits’ background characteristics into account?

The data in this paper are part of the quantitative research project ‘Recruitment, Education and Careers in the Police: A European Longitudinal Study’ (RECPOL) . The project has a longitudinal research design, following police recruits over time by regularly surveys : at the beginning and end of their police education, and three and six years into their professional life. This paper analyses data from phase one in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, Spain (Catalonia) and Iceland.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventDansk Sociologkongres - Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 28 Dec 201629 Dec 2016


ConferenceDansk Sociologkongres
LocationAalborg Universitet

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