UP professor awarded Fulbright scholarship to study perceptions of the role of female police officers in the US

Posted on May 06, 2020

The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Professor Christiaan Bezuidenhout from the Faculty of Humanities has been selected as a principal candidate for the Fulbright South African Research Scholar Program (SARSP) for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers grants for advanced research and university lecturing in the US. Prof Bezuidenhout, whose area of research is policing, with a particular emphasis on female policing, will be joining a fraternity of more than 800 faculty representing more than 150 countries from around the world. He will be hosted by the Department of Criminal Justice at East Carolina University from 1 January 2021 - 30 September 2021. 

Prof Bezuidenhout will be investigating the perceptions of male and female police officers with regard to the role female police officers play in different policing structures in the US. In the past, Prof Bezuidenhout conducted a similar study of attitudes within the so-called masculine genre of policing in South Africa.  

According to Prof Bezuidenhout, “Although many changes have occurred and gender mainstreaming initiatives have seen the light, many scholars believe that both the socially constructed aspects of sexuality and the biological characteristics of a woman are important variables that facilitate negativity towards women in the policing realm. In many countries, gender-based violence and discrimination are still tangible and women are still underrepresented in the rank-and-file positions as well as in the officer’s band of the police. I would like to determine what the current perceptions are with regard to the role of female police officers in the different policing structures in the USA.” 

For 27 years, Prof Bezuidenhout has been a prolific academic at UP. He is attached to the Department of Social Work and Criminology in UP’s Faculty of Humanities,  where he teaches psychocriminology, criminal justice and contemporary criminology at undergraduate and postgraduate level. His latest book, titled A Southern African Perspective on Fundamental Criminology (2nd ed.) was published by Pearson during February 2020. Prof Bezuidenhout studied at the University of Oxford from 2003 – 2004 and was awarded an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice. As he recalls, “The knowledge I gained there stood me in good stead as lecturer and researcher at UP.” This experience motivated him to look for other opportunities abroad. “I am sure the experience and knowledge I gain in the USA will be of immeasurable value to me, the University and my students,” said Prof Bezuidenhout.  

The Faculty of Humanities commends Prof Bezuidenhout for his outstanding academic contributions to the field of criminology and wishes him success in his future academic journey.  

Professor Christiaan Bezuidenhout holds the following degrees: BA (Criminology), BA Honours (Criminology), MA (Criminology), DPhil (Criminology), and an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Oxford. 

- Author Francois Gilles de Pelichy

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences