by Geneviève PRUVOST – june 2009
Geneviève PRUVOST is a researcher at the CESDIP, and has authored Profession : policier. Sexe : féminin (Paris, Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 2007) and De la sergote à la femme flic. Une autre histoire de l’institution policière. 1935-2005 (Paris, La Découverte, 2008). She has conducted a socio-demographic survey on the working conditions in the police, in collaboration with Philippe COULANGEON and Ionela ROHARICK (Paris, IHÉSI, 2003).
Why do people become police(wo)men ? How do police(wo)men work ? What kind of policing do they want ? Qualitative investigations (including interviews, participant observation, studies of archives and of the legislation) have provided answers to these questions. But there are few statistical surveys in this field. It was to fill this gap that a study was launched in 2003 in the framework of an IHÉSI (Institut des Hautes Études de la Sécurité Intérieure) research program, covering 5,221 police(wo)men of all ranks and from every Branch (Public Security, Criminal Investigation, Compagnie Républicaine de Sécurité (CRS, the riot police), Border Police, Renseignements Généraux (RG, the intelligence agency), and the Paris Police Department).