SOC219H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Defeminization, Emotional Labor
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Martin, S. E. (1999). Police force or police service? Gender and emotional
labor. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social
Science, 561(1), 111-126.
Whose emotions must police control?
What kind of labor, according to Martin, is central to police work?
Why is this kind of labor often overlooked?
What are "feeling rules"?
What are "display rules"?
Describe the "wide gap between the work that the police actually do and the
public image of policing" (pg. 115).
Which emotions are associated with aggressive crime fighting versus service
work within policing?
With whom do police do emotion work (pg. 116 - 117)?
Ofﬁcers must control their own emotional displays and those of citizen, who are often encountered at their
worst - injured, upset, or angry. A cop's failure to manage these emotions may have high costs
The kind of labour that is central to police work is emotional labour because ofﬁcers have to present
themselves in a masculine way by not showing emotion.
often the importance, skills, and scope demanded of police in performing emotional labour often are overlooked
or downplayed by both the police and the public for 2 reasons: 1) Policing is deﬁned in terms of ﬁghting crime,
although it involves a far wider variety of tasks. 2) the occupation has long been dominated by men and
closely associated with the stereotypical inexpressive masculinity
Feeling rules are norms regarding what emotions should be experienced by workers
display rules are norms guiding which emotions ought to be publicly expressed and how; thus these norms are
There is a wide gap between the work that the police actually do and the public image of policing,which is
associated with crime ﬁghting and stereotyped as masculine. Police not only enforce the law and arrest
offenders; they also are responsible for preventing crime,protecting life and property, maintaining peace.
Depending on the circumstances, cops may seek to gain control by "hitting, shooting, referring, rescuing,
tending, separating, handcufﬁng, humouring, threatening. While most calls to the police do not clearly refer to a
crime or result in invocation of ofﬁcers' legal powers, most incidents do deal with an element of latent conﬂict and
the potential ingredients of a criminal offence. This enables an ofﬁcer to interpret an event either as a conﬂict
requiring an aggressive re- sponse or as an interpersonal dispute requiring informal conﬂict resolution
The association of catching criminals with danger and bravery is what marks police work as "men's work." An
ofﬁcer who displays too much anger, sympathy, or other emotion in dealing with danger or tragedy on the job
will not be accepted as a "regular cop” or viewed as someone able to withstand the pressures of police work.
In addition to onstage interactions with citizens, police do emotion work with fellow ofﬁcers in backstage
interactions in the locker room and offstage informal social activities. In interactions with both citizens and fellow
police, the gender of the ofﬁcer and the gender of the other participants affect interactional norms, including
those related to emotion work, and which emotion is evoked.
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