Sexuality in the Swedish Police
From Gay Jokes to Pride Parades
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Sexuality in the Swedish Police is based on the experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual police officers and the author's observations of police work. Written at the intersection of organizational, gender and police studies, the book analyses how processes of exclusion and inclusion of LGB sexuality coexist in the Swedish police, how these processes are related to the culture and characteristics of police work, and how police management attempts to create an inclusive organisation.
How and under what conditions does the exclusion and inclusion of LGB officers and LGB sexuality take place in the Swedish police? By delving into this question, the author seeks to answer, among other things, how it is that there are so few openly gay male police officers and how barriers to inclusion can be understood. The book contributes to a better understanding of the problems and activities associated with diversity issues, particularly with a focus on sexual orientation, but also more generally; many of the insights in the book can be used to understand the inclusion and exclusion of other groups in society. A key insight from the book is that inclusion and exclusion are collective processes characterized by struggle, a struggle that according to the author can be understood through the concept of “peripheral inclusion”.
Sexuality in the Swedish Police will be of great interest to scholars and students as well as practitioners with an interest in diversity issues and policing. The book is also relevant to those working in or interested in diversity, inclusion and equality in other similarly "masculinized" organizations, such as the armed forces and certain sports organisations.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - The judiciary and homosexuality
Chapter 3 – Exclusion
Chapter 4 - The Struggle Between Exclusion and Inclusion
Chapter 5 - The Macho Image of the Police – Masculinity and the Inclusion of Homosexuality
Chapter 6 - Policing and the Inclusion of Homosexuality
Chapter 7 - Not Real Police Work – On Managerial Work for Inclusion
Chapter 8 – Conclusion
Jens Rennstam is Associate Professor of Business Administration at Lund University, Sweden. He has long experience of qualitative inquiry into organizations and his previous work has been published in esteemed outlets such as Gender, Work and Organizations, Human Relations, Marketing Theory, Organization, and Organization Studies.
"This is a very readable and well-written book that tackles a pressing issue in an accessible manner. With a clear and relevant conceptual apparatus and a wealth of empirical material, Jens Rennstam makes visible the issue of exclusion and inclusion of gay sexualities within the Swedish police. Rennstam demonstrates how these issues have implications for those working in the police. Perhaps most obviously for those who self-identify as LGBTQ+, but it is significant for everyone in the police force because the narrow frames of action that exclusion generates affect everyone in the organization.
An important lesson of the book is that issues of inclusion and exclusion are collective processes. Rennstam shows that in these processes the voice of LGBTQ+ people is important, but other voices and support are also needed, not least among managers and leaders. The police as an organization can greatly benefit from the book in the continued work of change towards inclusion and away from exclusion. In this work, the book is not limited to LGBTQ+ issues but provides a broader knowledge of the work on issues of inclusion and exclusion, and the book's grounding in organizational theory makes it relevant to organizations other than the police."
Tove Pettersson, Professor of Criminology, Stockholm University.