‘Real men’ doing dirty work: implications for change

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Police organisations in Canada and other parts of the world, have recently undertaken efforts to address misconduct arising from high-profile reports of internal discrimination and harassment and/or instances of excessive use of force. However, these actions tend to be pursued through traditional approaches without fully understanding the contextual factors that contribute to these harmful behaviours. Through a sequential, qualitative mixed-methods study involving Canadian police officers, this paper highlights how symbolic meanings attached to police work contribute to perceptions that the work is more suitable for some individuals than others. The findings also illustrate how officers respond to identity threats from stigmatised officers or from external sources. Finally, the findings suggest that the prototypical image of a police officer may be changing with recent criticisms of the police presented as possibilities for change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242-1257
Number of pages16
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Dirty work
  • identity management
  • identity threats
  • police culture
  • policing style


Dive into the research topics of '‘Real men’ doing dirty work: implications for change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this