The Representation of the Women Presidents of the American Society of Criminology

Rebecca Petersen 1 *

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp. 66-82

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The purpose of this article is to highlight the women presidents of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) within the past decade, and as such, builds upon an earlier peer-reviewed article in 2006 that profiled the first five female presidents of the ASC. Since 2014, six of the last seven ASC presidents have been women: Joanne Belknap, Candace Kruttschnitt, Ruth D. Peterson, Karen Heimer, Meda Chesney-Lind and Sally S. Simpson. Specifically, this article examines how being a woman president has helped represent and shape the discipline of criminology and the ASC.  Through a qualitative analysis, it provides further insight into factors contributing to their leadership success and challenges faced within academia and criminology from a female perspective, particularly noting the role of mentoring/networking, being female in a criminology discipline, work-life balance issues, and perspectives of being a female president in a historically male-dominated discipline.  This article addresses how the representation of these women presidents has continued to raise the glass ceiling in a historically male-dominated academic discipline and the message it sends to those within the criminology discipline that is, women criminologists have and can continue to achieve success and overcome gender barriers. 

Keywords: American Society of Criminology, Female Criminologists, Qualitative Analysis, Women Criminologists.