The Present Tense of Afghanistan: Accounting for Space, Time and Gender in Processes of Militarisation

Citation:

Hyde, Alexandra. 2016. “The Present Tense of Afghanistan: Accounting for Space, Time and Gender in Processes of Militarisation.” Gender, Place & Culture 23 (6): 857–68. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2015.1058759.

 

Author: Alexandra Hyde

Abstract:

Based on ethnographic research among women married to servicemen, this article explores the diffusion of militarisation across time as well as social space. The study setting is a garrison town in Germany during the deployment of women's husbands to Afghanistan. Rather than prioritising the grand narratives of linear time prevalent in IR and military history, however, this article takes into account cyclical and everyday modes of temporality that have traditionally been associated (and undervalued) as feminised ‘zones’, including reproduction, the domestic sphere and local social space. The article explores the temporal register of an operational tour and demonstrates the material, discursive and emotional labour undertaken by military wives in smoothing and converting this rupture into stability through everyday practices. Accounting for the diffusion of militarisation over time as well as space in this way provides further evidence that its causes and effects are intricately gendered.

Keywords: militarisation, temporality, contingency, war, home

Topics: Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Afghanistan, Germany

Year: 2016

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