National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version


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UReCA: The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity:


Copyright @ by the author.


Gender” (1987) as a theoretical framework, I aim to understand how men and women in judicial occupations navigate gender roles and power dynamics in a professional setting. Both men and women judges present themselves similarly in their attire and their completion of making rulings on cases. However, men and women show distinct differences in displays of emotion, professional behavior, and responses to challenges or conflicts in the courtroom. Female judges tend to operate in a poised, highly accountable, and emotionally restrained scope, while men tend to show more variation in their emotional displays and have a wider range of behaviors that they work within. I conducted 20 hours of ethnographic fieldwork over the span of eight weeks at a county courthouse in Portland, Oregon. This study contributes to theories of women’s overt masculine performance in male-dominated workplaces, where women appropriate hegemonic masculine qualities as a mean for success in professional settings. This works to reinforce patriarchal gender hierarchy, rather than reconstruct it.