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Gender Integration of a Traditionally Male Field: A Definition of the Occupation.

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Final rept. Oct 80-Sep 82,

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The purpose of this research was to explore the relationship between occupational conceptualization image and occupational definition in police work. Specific attention was paid to the effects of the relationship on the integration of women into this traditionally male field. While conducted primarily form an organizational perspective, a limited of social psychological instruments were administered to characterize the effects of structure on the individual. Participant observation and extensive interviewing were the methodological techniques employed. Preliminary analysis indicated that there was an attempt in this case to construct the organization according to idealized conceptualizations, but this did not coincide with daily job performance requirements. As a consequence, this discrepancy led not only to an exclusion of certain categories of persons from the occupation, but also created a daily work environment devoid of any real solidarity, efficiency, or productivity. The conclusion drawn is that most of the problems women face in entering traditionally male fields are related to the structure of the work system and the manner in which recruits are socialized to that system. False expectations on the part of males and females clearly lead to different experiences for each, and typically to cycles of demoralization,demotivation, and failure. For women, failure is likely to mean the inability to enter, or remain on, the job for men, it is likely to mean inefficiency and a lack of productivity.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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