Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This dissertation outlines the occupation of private investigation and the role that females play within that profession. The difficulties women experience in male-oriented occupations remains noteworthy in sociological research today. Progress has been made, yet many barriers still exist for women. These include structural, social, and cultural factors that influence women and/or the jobs that they hold. With the completion of interviews with twenty-six female private investigators, I was able to analyze the existing structural, interactional, and gender barriers which moderate the number of women that work as private investigators. Few studies have examined this occupation and this gap may be detrimental to our understanding of this issue. I discovered that women have less difficulty getting into and succeeding in private investigation than in law enforcement. Finally, I found that based on the nature of the work, client demand, opportunity for self-employment, and limited training requirements, females have risen in the labor queue that feeds private investigation. I argue that females may be more desirable to employers and clients because of the advantages their gender provides. Exploration of this topic holds importance for a comprehensive understanding of the position of women in the occupational structure.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Bankston, William B.

Included in

Sociology Commons