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How Women Reshape the Prison Guard Role

Lynn Zimmer
Gender and Society
Vol. 1, No. 4 (Dec., 1987), pp. 415-431
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/189635
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
How Women Reshape the Prison Guard Role
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Abstract

This article describes the innovative job performance strategies used by women who work as guards in men's prisons. It suggests that women guards perform the job differently from men guards not only because women face structural and discriminatory barriers on the job but also because most women bring to the job a set of prior experiences, skills, and abilities different from those of most men. One of the reasons women may fail to receive positive performance evaluations in jobs traditionally held by men is that they are being evaluated on the basis of how well their work behavior matches that of men doing the same work. This article argues that there are multiple ways to perform jobs and that to expect women to perform jobs in the same manner as their male colleagues is a form of gender bias. Women should be judged by how effective they are, not by whether their approaches to work are similar to those of men.

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