The point of departure of the research project “’Grab’em by the…!’ Challenges and resistance to work against sexual harassment within the Swedish police force” is that sexual harassment between colleagues is not necessarily considered a problem within the police force, despite available testimonies and statistics. Instead, a sexualised jargon is often considered crucial to a professional identity as a police officer, and accompanies the process of learning the profession ‘the hard way’.
The project answers the following research questions:
- How is resistance expressed within the police force when sexual harassment is raised within the organisation?
- What is the relation between jargon, jokes, open-mindedness, and insults and harassment?
- What is expected of bystanders when there are conflicting views of what constitutes harassment?
- Which are the conditions for managers and safety representatives to fulfil their notification requirement in cases of sexual harassment?
The project contributes with knowledge about those that harass, and factors that enable harassment, which has been identified as important knowledge gaps in previous research about sexual harassment.
The project has a qualitative design, using methods such as participant observations, interviews with employees, trainees, managers, and safety and trade union representatives, and a document analysis. Theoretically, the project is based on theorisation of everyday resistance within organisations.
Helps identifying challenges to work against sexual harassment
Studying practices of resistance when sexual harassment is raised within an organisation helps identifying challenges to work against sexual harassment. The project contributes with knowledge about resistance to work against harassment, and how cultures of silence, relations of dependence and retaliations affect organisations’ work against sexual harassment. The results of the project will contribute to improving the conditions of organisations to work against sexual harassment and strengthen their work environment management.
The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte) during the period 2023-2026.