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Chapter 1

SOC219H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Defeminization, Emotional Labor


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC219H5
Professor
Jennifer Carlson
Chapter
1

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Reading Guide
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
observable.
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.
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