مردان، مردسالاری و آتش نشانی: هویت شغلی، فرهنگ فروشگاه طبقاتی و تغییر سازمانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|36295||2008||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Emotion, Space and Society, Volume 1, Issue 2, December 2008, Pages 127–134
As an occupation, firefighting is replete with images of maleness operating around a series of highly masculinised codes and values most notably comprising: risk/danger, heroism, fearlessness/courage, physicality, and bodily strength. This qualitative study of the UK Fire Service seeks to uncover the ways in which these masculine codes and values were evident amidst the daily working lives of a group of full-time, male firefighters. Placing respondent views at the centre of the research, findings suggest that occupational identities were based primarily upon notions of emotional strength, physical and technical competence and collective understandings of risk and responsibility. A commitment to group solidarity was also central to the masculine identities of respondents, with colleagues in administrative and managerial positions being distanced on account of their non-manual occupational roles.
Like a host of male dominated occupations, the UK Fire Service has traditionally functioned along heavily gendered lines; its organisational structures, workplace practices and daily routines are steeped in images of maleness. Throughout popular culture the iconic image of the male firefighter is one of quintessential bravery incorporating notions of heroism, danger and courage (Baigent, 2001, Childs et al., 2004 and Tracy and Scott, 2006). Such perceptions have arguably become more powerful in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US and related events in the UK (see Boon, 2005 and Yarnal et al., 2004).1 Set against this contextual backdrop, how, we might ask, do fire service personnel construct their identities within this highly masculinised occupational setting? Moreover, to what extent do such masculine values and ideals manifest themselves amidst the everyday activities of workplace interaction? This small-scale qualitative study of the members of one UK Fire Service ‘watch’2 seeks to address these issues in order to analyse the way in which a variety of masculinities emerged in and through the everyday lives of respondents. Firefighting provides fertile ground for the study of gendered identities both because of the popular cultural imagery within which it is situated and because of the relative scarcity of sociological research into its occupational locales. A common theme within those studies which do exist is the production of clearly demarcated occupational identities where a distinctly masculine aura pervades (see for example, Baigent, 2001, Desmond, 2006 and Desmond, 2007). Focusing on the key aspects of masculine construction within the lives of 16 full-time, male firefighters at one UK fire station, this paper portrays how a specific set of norms, standards and expectations influenced and informed individual occupational identities.3 Two main theoretical concepts underpin the overall narrative. First, Connell, 1987 and Connell, 2005 notion of hegemonic masculinity is used to frame and contextualise discussion surrounding the construction of divergent respondent masculinities. Second, working class shop-floor culture is deployed as a conceptual theme against which this range of masculinities and their specific emotional requirements can be located (see Clarke, 1979, Collinson, 1988, Collinson, 1992 and Willis, 1977). What transpires is a theoretically informed analysis within which respondents are categorised according to their workplace behaviours, their commitment to occupational duties, and the masculine traits which they choose to exhibit. In turn, the paper highlights the numerous spaces where the emotional aspects of firefighting become evident and are made explicit.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has mapped out the key issues around which occupational identities were constructed amongst male firefighters at one UK fire station. Within it we have pointed out the way in which notions of emotional strength, physical and technical competence, responsibility and solidarity, and organisational change impacted the everyday lives of the respondent group. These findings suggest that fire service personnel construct specific identities based on a range of values and qualities. The importance of the physical nature of their job is central but there is also a significant emphasis placed upon technical proficiency (with regard to knowledge of and familiarity with of a range of specialist equipment) and the production of emotional control and restraint. It is primarily through the construction of physical, technical and emotional competence that self-worth is asserted. The personal drive for competence in one's job is supplemented by a strong team ethic amongst watch members. In the case of Green Watch, the group unity observed during the research appeared symptomatic of a pronounced solidarity based on the interdependence of all members of the watch on each other. As such, an awareness and sensitivity to the confidence of colleagues becomes manifest in the notable lack of instances of severe personal insult and workplace subordination common to other male dominated occupational settings. However, competition and antagonism between watches, and between other stations, was evident. In the face of marked changes to the ethos of the fire service, (i.e. a shift towards a more management orientated, community focused approach), the identity of fire service personnel appears to be under-going considerable transformation. Observed resistance to such organisational change, underpinned by a scepticism of white-collar implementation and a valuing of manual over mental labour, was key to the working lives of the respondents featured here. However, there was also evidence that the increasing requirements of community-based service and the associated values of communication and customer care were, notably, being adopted by personnel. Traditionally feminised qualities are not constructed as part of the value of occupational competence implicit to the identity of firefighters. In light of these modernising measures, it is possible that the maintenance of a markedly masculinised occupational identity may change over time. Needless to say, the emotive reaction to these changes may prove to be of as much of interest to social scientists as the changes themselves.