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Yann Philippe, 'Community Mothers or Impromptu Actresses? The Multifaceted Experience of Women in the New York Police Department (1900-1941)', 35-61

Article

Published onJul 01, 2021
Yann Philippe, 'Community Mothers or Impromptu Actresses? The Multifaceted Experience of Women in the New York Police Department (1900-1941)', 35-61

Abstract
In the first half of the twentieth century, women police played a small yet active role in the New York Police Department. This article does not intend to narrate the growing presence of policewomen in the department but to examine their professional roles, identities, activities and experiences. It emphasizes the diversity of their tasks and social background, taking especially into account the division between former police matrons and social workers. Given this diversity, the category of gender is thus reinterpreted to understand how it functioned as a flexible and complex identity in relation to other forms of identity. Gender could be played up or down and negotiated
according to circumstances and individuals, to either integrate a male-dominated institution, perform social work or do investigative work.

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