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Kvinnor i polistjänst: Föreningen Kamraterna, Svenska polisförbundet och kvinnors inträde i polisyrket
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Historical Studies.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

The aim of this thesis was to study the strategies that Kamraterna (‘the Comrades’), an association for Stockholm’s policemen, and the Swedish Policemen’s Union employed in order to solve the issue of women in police service in the years 1957-1971. I have dealt with the attitudes they had to women in police service and the conceptions of gender that were expressed. The trade unions’ way of trying to solve the issue of women’s service and position in the organisation and Kamraterna’s actions vis-à-vis their female members have also been in focus. Finally, I have also studied the way in which the police profession was made masculine and feminine and how this could be used as a part of the strategies.

Women’s entrance into the police profession on the same terms as men created and made visible the gender structures in the police force. The male police officers saw their rights threatened, if the female labour could be judged differently and hence be promoted more rapidly. This conflict made conceptions of male and female qualities visible, and above all in Kamraterna, a struggle was started to maintain male police officers’ privileges and rights.

The unions emphasised that women would have to be employed on equal terms and that equal pay must imply equal work. Women were however considered to be best suited for social police work and work with women and children, while men were chiefly associated with the parts of the profession involving physical strength and violence. It was difficult to implement the principle of equal terms in practice, since there was a basic idea that women were different. Both Kamraterna and the Swedish Policemen’s Union used dual closure in order to solve this dilemma. Kamraterna’s usurpation was intended to influence the police commissioner and to unite the members, including the women, thereby creating a collective unity about the issue of the female police officers’ posts and work. They tried to remove the women from foot patrol work by having them relocated to other departments with civil duties. In this way they endeavoured to keep the patrol work as an exclusively male area by resorting to exclusion. When the National Police Board started experimental work in 1969 with female police officers being stationed in special units with civil duties, the Swedish Policemen’s Union supported this effort and tried to see to it that the instructions were followed. The Policemen’s Union thus employed exclusion. Excluding women from parts of the profession meant that the unions used a demarcationary strategy resulting in a gendered division of labour being created rather than the women being entirely excluded from the police profession. The patrol work was the part of the police profession that women ought not to have access to, and this was linked to masculine qualities and symbolism. Words like physical strength, strenuous service and violence were related to the patrol work. The uniforms and weapons underscored the masculine connotations of the patrol work. A hegemonic masculinity was created here, which could be used as a means for excluding female police officers. The women’s uniforms looked different and their weapons were not the same, which should have made it more difficult for them to be regarded as real police officers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Historiska studier , 2007. , 192 p.
Skrifter från institutionen för historiska studier, ISSN 1651-0046 ; 16
Keyword [en]
History, police, trade unions, patrol work, gendered division of labour, dual closure, usurpation, exclusion, demarcationary strategies, uniform, masculinity, feminity
Keyword [sv]
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1142ISBN: 978-91-7264-314-7OAI: diva2:140360
Public defence
2007-06-09, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2007-05-11 Created: 2007-05-11Bibliographically approved

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