Date of Award
Planning and Urban Studies
Dr. Pamela Jenkins
Dr. Bethany Stich
Dr. David Gladstone
Dr. John Kiefer
Women are under-represented in both numbers and at the command level of police agencies after over 40 years of women in policing. The national average for women in policing, as reported by the 2012 Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Report, was 11.9%. Women in state police and highway patrol agencies are well below the national average, particularly in the southern states where the percentage is below 6%. This study uses qualitative data to examine the role of gender and the gendered organizational structure and culture of police agencies through interview data from 24 women troopers and one academy cadet who are or were employed in seven southern state police and highway patrol agencies between 1972 and 2012. The data from their lived experiences indicate that women continue to encounter barriers and challenges to recruitment, employment, assignment, retention, and promotional opportunities. Understanding how women experience paramilitary policing institutions and the gendered nature of a male-dominated workforce can be used to argue for meaningful social and organizational changes in state police and highway patrol agencies and, by association, the profession of policing.
Keywords: gendered roles, gendered institutions, gendered structure organizations, gendered culture, police, troopers, state police, highway patrol, women police, leadership, hegemonic masculinity, gender
May, Genevieve, "Asphalt Magnolias: Women in Southern State Police and Highway Patrol Agencies, 1972-2012" (2018). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 2474.