Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Global and Sociocultural Studies

First Advisor's Name

Stephen Fjellman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Hugh Gladwin

Third Advisor's Name

Lois West

Date of Defense



The purpose of this research is to identify the impact of recent organizational change upon the culture of firefighting.

The experiences of female firefighters were utilized as a measure of cultural change. A purposive sample of twenty-seven male and female firefighters were interviewed in a semi-structured format about their experiences in the fire service.

This research found that the culture of firefighting has adjusted to the presence of previously excluded groups by forging a division among the identities and roles of male and female firefighters. The white, male firefighters, who have traditionally constituted a majority of the workforce, have continued to identify with traditional firefighter roles and reported high levels of cohesion. In contrast, the female firefighters showed a greater variance in their identification with traditional roles and decreased levels of cohesion with the main body of the group.




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