Warriors of Choice: The (Re)articulation of Militarized Masculinities in Private and Public Special Force


Chisholm, Amanda. 2008. "Warriors of Choice: The (Re)articulation of Militarized Masculinities in Private and Public Special Force." Masters thesis, Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University.

Author: Amanda Chisholm


My thesis is an examination militarized masculinity in Canada's JTF2 Special Forces and the Private Security Firm Blackwater. I employ a gender analysis to highlight how militarized masculinity impedes women's participation from Special Forces and private security firms. Feminist scholarship by Cynthia Enloe, Ann Tickner, Sandra Whitworth, and Charlotte Hooper has examined how militarized masculinity is associated within a particular political/situational context and therefore should be understood in its plural–as militarized masculinities. However, there is limited scholarship focusing on how masculinities vary in Special Forces and private security firms. This lack of scholarship results in limited knowledge of the implications militarized masculinity in these units has for women's security and for women's participation in these units. The purpose of this thesis is to add to the current literature by exploring, through militarized masculinities, the gender barriers to women's participation and the consequences of the security produced when these units deploy. To analyze the impact of militarized masculinity in these units I conducted interviews with authorities on these units, applicants interested in participating in these units, and performed a content analysis of Blackwater's website. I argue based on the information gathered that militarized masculinity, while varied in its application in special units and private security firms, continues to impede women's participation and in some cases can cause greater insecurity for women where these units are deployed.

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militaries, Militarization

Year: 2008

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