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Title: Exploring the lived experience of stress amongst female police managers
Author: Watts , Sarah Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 5304
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores how stress is experienced in the everyday lives and work of female police managers. Current conceptualisations of stress within organisational and practitioner stress literatures are grounded in measuring, isolating and thus managing workplace stressors. Together with the social norms and professional discourses surrounding stress, these perspectives neglect the experiential constitution of stress at the level of the lived body. To address this research gap, the thesis draws on key tenets of Merleau-Ponty's (2002) phenomenological perspective to empirically explore the experience of stress. Data is collected through the use of photo-elicitation and in -depth semi-structured interviews with twenty managerial police women. The medium of the visual image overcomes some of the difficulties in encapsulating strong feelings and emotions common to stress, to allow the emergence of a wider diversity of stress interpretations. Three main findings chapters serve to contribute to debates surrounding the lived experience of stress at work. The first chapter explores stress from the organisational context of the police, focusing on how organisational histories and traditions influence the circulation of ideas as to what it means to 'be' a police officer. The second chapter centres on the embodiment of stress, paying particular attention to how the body is drawn on in discussions of stress. The final findings chapter explores how stress is at once socially situated and individually experienced, looking at the various ways of communicating what stress is and how it may be represented or shared on a collective level. A final discussion chapter then serves to resituate these findings within current academic and practitioner debates, demonstrating how the key conceptual contributions made by the study provide new insights into stress at work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available