Sexual Identity As a Challenge for Professional Rationalities and Self-Understanding within the Profession. the Case of Lgbttiq Policing

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:15
Location: Hörsaal 4C G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Tatiana ZIMENKOVA, TU Dortmund University, Germany
Verena MOLITOR, Bielefeld University, Germany
Professional rationality in police is challenged in multiple ways by identities of the officers, their positioning within the political system, the authority, the personal identity of the individual officer, as well as the influences from the outside of the police: be it political, media discourses or citizen’s perceptions of the policing.

We concentrate in our presentation on our empirical research on the LGBTTIQ police officers, who are active in LGBTTIQ organizations as police officers. The paper focuses on LGBTTIQ police officers in order to demonstrate, how sexual and gendered identities influence not only the working conditions of this group and the belonging to a specific organization, but make them a specific minority. The sexual identities of our interview partners intervene with their understanding of their profession and their specific role in the profession as LGBTTIQ persons. They discuss differently their understanding of their right within their working place, but also their responsibilities in cooperation within the authority and in their professional occupation. Their activities within the LGBTTIQ organizations partly results in the “forced” expertise, they are called to execute with respect to LGBTTIQ questions and crimes, which goes far beyond their professional knowledge. Still, the expectation of the expertise challenges them in their professional identity and professional responsibility. Further on, the sexual and gender identity is being permanently negotiated between the right to be visible as LGBTTIQ police officer and right to be a neutral part of the execute power, free from personal specifics and (sexual) identities.  

The presentation asks, whether LGBTTIQ police officers develop a special professional identity due to their sexual identity and whether their professional identity influences the articulations of their sexual and gender identities?