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Male Combatants

Unmaking Militarized Masculinity: Veterans and the Project of Military-to-Civilian Transition

Citation:

Bulmer, Sarah, and Maya Eichler. 2017. “Unmaking Militarized Masculinity: Veterans and the Project of Military-to-Civilian Transition.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 161-81.

Authors: Sarah Bulmer, Maya Eichler

Abstract:

Feminist scholarship on war and militarization has typically focussed on the making of militarized masculinity. However, in this article, we shed light on the process of ‘unmaking’ militarized masculinity through the experiences of veterans transitioning from military to civilian life. We argue that in the twenty-first century, veterans’ successful reintegration into civilian society is integral to the legitimacy of armed force in Western polities and is therefore a central concern of policymakers, third-sector service providers, and the media. But militarized masculinity is not easily unmade. Veterans often struggle with their transition to civilian life and the negotiation of military and civilian gender norms. They may have an ambivalent relationship with the state and the military. Furthermore, militarized masculinity is embodied and experienced, and has a long and contradictory afterlife in veterans themselves. Attempts to unmake militarized masculinity in the figure of the veteran challenge some of the key concepts currently employed by feminist scholars of war and militarization. In practice, embodied veteran identities refuse a totalizing conception of what militarized masculinity might be, and demonstrate the limits of efforts to exceptionalize the military, as opposed to the civilian, aspects of veteran identity. In turn, the very liminality of this ‘unmaking’ troubles and undoes neat categorizations of military/civilian and their implied masculine/feminine gendering. We suggest that an excessive focus on the making of militarized masculinity has limited our capacity to engage with the dynamic, co-constitutive, and contradictory processes which shape veterans’ post-military lives.

Keywords: militarized masculinity, veterans, experience, gender, military-to-civilian transitions, militarization

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding

Year: 2017

Living Archives and Cyprus: Militarized Masculinities and Decolonial Emerging World Horizons

Citation:

Agathangelou, Anna M. 2017. “Living Archives and Cyprus: Militarized Masculinities and Decolonial Emerging World Horizons”. Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 206-11.

Author: Anna M. Agathangelou

Abstract:

Huddled within the most influential theorisations and praxes of war and violence are imaginations of collating masculinities, texts and their embodiments. Interpreting and reading my mother as a non-dominant body, and her stories about war, violence, and Cyprus as re-iterative corporeal insights and practices challenging such toxic masculinities, I argue that such performances and embodiments (what I call living archives), albeit with multiple tensions, re-orient us to emerging decolonial horizons. In doing so, I directly challenge and unsuture the complacent IR historiographies of security and war and the ways they insist on composing and writing by bringing together certain archives (i.e., images of violent places and state documents) and silencing those which systematically and consistently point to modernity’s violent frameworks including their production of violent masculinities on which extinguishment and futures lie. Such an insistence colludes with certain toxic regimes of representation expecting certain subjects, sovereigns, and institutions to order and reiterate (produce) colonial and violent racialized masculine (and racialized feminized) practices between ourselves and the world. Living archives are also those invented signs, imaginations, and excesses that press materiality and its impasses (i.e., in the form of capture, blackness, non-genders, etc. and resolution of signs and fictions), exposing the limits of modernity’s fictioning, and against any resolution and labor that produces violence all the while sublating it.

Keywords: militarized masculinities, international relations grammars, Cyprus, living archives, the colonial, imperial wars, decolonial struggles

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Combatants, Male Combatants, DDR, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Race, Violence Regions: Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Cyprus

Year: 2017

Reintegración y emprendimiento, análisis del programa de educación para el trabajo de la ACR para mujeres excombatientes

Citation:

Matiz Cortés, Stefanie. 2016. “Reintegración y emprendimiento, análisis del programa de educación para el trabajo de la ACR para mujeres excombatientes.” Master’s Thesis, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

Author: Stefanie Matiz Cortés

Abstract:

Spanish abstract:

En esta investigación se hizo un análisis del programa de formación para el trabajo, que hace parte de la ruta de Reintegración Económica de la ACR, con el propósito de determinar si dicho programa lograba dar respuesta a las necesidades y expectativas sobre actividades productivas de las mujeres desmovilizadas de grupos armados. Para ello se realizó un estudio de tipo etnográfico – colaborativo que permitió comprender con las excombatientes, cómo y bajo qué condiciones se está desarrollando la dimensión productiva. Propone la profundización en el enfoque de género que tiene actualmente la Ruta de Reintegración con el fin de lograr que las exintegrantes de grupos armados logren reintegrarse en condiciones ajustadas a su realidad, sus intereses y sus posibilidades. En este sentido se rescata como elemento esencial las narrativas de las mujeres entrevistadas, ya que analizando sus necesidades, es indispensable que no se anule esa experiencia femenina dentro de la dinámica de la guerra y las transformaciones que experimenta en la sociedad. Por último se establece que es poco adecuado que los programas de emprendimiento sean considerados como un mecanismo de salida a la pobreza o una solución para impulsar el retorno de la población desmovilizada a la legalidad de forma autosostenible. Sencillamente porque el programa está planteado desde una perspectiva de emprendimiento por necesidad y no de emprendimiento por oportunidad, lo que va en contra de la naturaleza del emprendimiento y lleva la política al fracaso, pues lo que deberían ser empresas resultantes de aptitudes emprendedoras resultan siendo nada más que mecanismos simples de autoempleo (Abstract from original source​).

English abstract:

The purpose of this research was to analyze and look at the work of “the job training program”, as part of the economic reintegration path of the Colombian Agency for Reintegration, whose main objective was to determine if such program could give an answer to the needs and expectations of productive activities of armed group demobilized women .To do this, a collaborative-ethnographic study was conducted to better understand with the ex combats how and under what conditions productive dimensions have been developed. This research highlights the gender approach that the reintegration path currently has, in order to ensure that the former members of armed groups can reintegrate in fair conditions according to their reality, interests and possibilities. In this sense it is highlighted as an essential element the stories and narratives of interviewed women, as analyzing their needs is indispensable not to eliminate this feminine experience within the dynamics of the war and the transformations it faces in the society. Finally, it is stated that it is not appropriate that entrepreneurial programs can be considered as a mechanism to get out of the poverty trap or a solution to foster the comeback of demobilized population to legality in a self-sustainable way. Simply because the program is stated from the perspective of entrepreneurship due to necessities but entrepreneurship for opportunities, what goes against the nature of entrepreneurship and leads the initiative to failure, so what it should be seen as companies resulting in entrepreneurial attitudes it ends up as simple mechanisms of self employment (Translation from original source​).

 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, DDR Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Combat as a Moving Target: Masculinities, the Heroic Soldier Myth, and Normative Martial Violence

Citation:

Millar, Katharine M., and Joanna Tidy. 2017. “Combat As a Moving Target: Masculinities, the Heroic Soldier Myth, and Normative Martial Violence.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 142–60.

Authors: Katharine M. Millar, Joanna Tidy

Abstract:

This article problematizes the conceptualization and use of ‘combat’ within critical scholarship on masculinities, militaries, and war. We trace, firstly, how combat appears as an empirical category within traditional war studies scholarship, describing an ostensibly self-evident physical practice. We then examine how feminist and gender approaches – in contrast – reveal ‘combat’ as a normative imagination of martial violence. This imagination of violence is key to the constitution of the masculine ideal, and normalization of military force, through the heroic soldier myth. We argue, however, that despite this critical impulse, much of feminist and gender analysis exhibits conceptual ‘slippage’: combat is still often treated as a ‘common-sense’ empirical category – a thing that ‘is’ – in masculinities theorizing. This treatment of gendered imaginary as empirics imports a set of normative investments that limit the extent to which the heroic soldier myth, and the political work that it undertakes, can be deconstructed. As a consequence, whilst we know how masculinities are constituted in relation to ‘combat’, we lack the corollary understanding of how masculinities constitute combat, and how the resulting imagination sustains military authority and the broader social acceptance of war. We argue that unpacking these dynamics and addressing this lacuna is key to the articulation of a meaningfully ‘critical’ gender and military studies.

Keywords: combat, military masculinities, critical, soldiers, violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Violence

Year: 2017

The Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia: Addressing Violent Masculinities in a Fragile Context

Citation:

Flisi, Isabella. 2016. “The Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia: Addressing Violent Masculinities in a Fragile Context.” Gender & Development 24 (3): 391–407. 

Author: Isabella Flisi

Abstract:

This article focuses on peace-building processes in fragile societies traumatised by violence and conflict. It argues that disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) programmes largely overlook the relationship between violent ‘militarised’ male identities and behaviour, and risks to women’s security. DDR programmes need to work with men to support them to evolve non-violent ways of ‘being a man’. The article draws on research from Colombia to illustrate its argument and show the negative consequences of combatants’ reintegration on women’s lives in that context. It suggests key steps to challenge wartime masculinities that should be included in DDR and peace-building programmes, and considers wider implications for development and humanitarian work in fragile contexts.

Keywords: masculinities, Violence against women, reintegration, gender, post-conflict, disarmament, demobilisation, DDR, Colombia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, DDR, Development, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding, Security, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Sexed Bodies and Military Masculinities: Gender Path Dependence in EU's Common Security and Defense Policy

Citation:

Kronsell, Annica. 2016. “Sexed Bodies and Military Masculinities: Gender Path Dependence in EU's Common Security and Defense Policy.” Men and Masculinities 19 (3): 311–36.

Author: Annica Kronsell

Abstract:

This article explores the European Union (EU)’s Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) through a framework based on feminist institutional theory that highlights the durability in the dynamics of gender relations. Path dependency based on historic features of military institutions—a strict sex division based on ‘‘gender war roles’’— has influenced the development of different CSDP bodies. The CSDP is sexed because male bodies dominate the organizations studied, yet this remains invisible through normalization. A dominant EU hierarchical military masculinity is institutionalized in the EU’s Military Committee, combat heterosexual masculinity in the Battle groups, and EU protector masculinity in the EU Training missions. The CSDP embodies different types of military masculinities; the relations between them are important for the reproduction of the gender order through a gendered logic of appropriateness. Yet, this too is invisible as part of the informal aspects of organizations. While women’s bodies are written out of the CSDP, the construction of femininity in relation to the protector/protected binary is central to it. Two protected femininities are read in the texts. The vulnerable femininity of women in conflict areas is important for how the CSDP understands itself in relation to gender mainstreaming. In relation to the vulnerable femininity, CSDP constructs an EU protector masculinity, in turn, set against an aggressive violent masculinity in the areas where missions are deployed. Women’s bodies are absent from the CSDP and they lack agency but are nevertheless associated with a protected femininity. 

Keywords: conflict, Europe, feminism, gender equality, hegemonic masculinity

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gendered Discourses, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Security, Security Sector Reform Regions: Europe

Year: 2016

Posttraumatic Stress Symptomatology as a Mediator of the Relationship Between Warzone Exposure and Physical Health Symptoms in Men and Women

Citation:

Wachen, Jennifer Schuster, Jillian C. Shipherd, Michael Suvak, Dawne Vogt, Lynda A. King, and Daniel W. King. 2013. “Posttraumatic Stress Symptomatology as a Mediator of the Relationship Between Warzone Exposure and Physical Health Symptoms in Men and Women.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 26 (3): 319–28. doi:10.1002/jts.21818.

Authors: Lynda A. King, Daniel W. King, Jennifer Schuster Wachen, Jillian C. Shipherd, Michael Suvak, Dawne Vogt

Abstract:

The mediating role of posttraumatic stress symptomatology (PSS) on the association between warzone exposure and physical health symptoms in 7 bodily systems (cardiovascular, dermatological, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, neurological, and pulmonary) was examined. We also examined if mediation effects varied as a function of sex. A sample of 317 U.S. Gulf war veterans was assessed for warzone exposure, PSS, and physical health symptoms 10 years after deployment. PSS was significantly associated with postdeployment physical health in all symptom categories when accounting for predeployment health (with effect sizes ranging from a 1.27–1.64 increase in the likelihood of postdeployment physical health symptoms with a 1 standard deviation increase in the PSS symptoms). PSS severity mediated the relationship between warzone exposure and postdeployment symptoms in all physical health domains (with percent mediation ranging 44%–75%). A significant Warzone Exposure × PSS interaction emerged for 5 outcomes such that the effect of PSS on physical health was stronger for veterans reporting lower warzone exposure. No significant interactions with sex emerged. These findings suggest the important influence of PSS on physical health symptoms for both men and women.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Analysis, Health, PTSD, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

Validation of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Addendum for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PSQI-A) in U.S. Male Military Veterans

Citation:

Insana, Salvatore P., Martica Hall, Daniel J. Buysse, and Anne Germain. 2013. “Validation of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Addendum for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PSQI-A) in U.S. Male Military Veterans.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 26 (2): 192–200. doi:10.1002/jts.21793.

Authors: Daniel J. Buysse, Anne Germain, Martica Hall, Salvatore P. Insana

Abstract:

Sleep disturbances are core symptoms of posttraumatic-stress disorder (PTSD), yet they bear less stigma than other PTSD symptoms. Given the growing number of returning military veterans, brief, valid assessments that identify PTSD in a minimally stigmatizing way may be useful in research and clinical practice. The study purpose was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Addendum for PTSD (PSQI-A), and to examine its ability to identify PTSD cases among U.S. male military veterans. Male military veterans (N = 119) completed the PSQI-A, as well as measures of sleep quality, combat exposure, posttraumatic stress, depression, and anxiety. Veterans with PTSD had higher PSQI-A identified disruptive nocturnal behaviors than veterans without PTSD. The PSQI-A had good internal consistency and convergent validity with sleep quality, combat exposure, PTSD symptoms, depression, and anxiety. A cutoff score ≥ 4 provided an area under the curve = .81, with 71% sensitivity, 82% specificity, and 60% positive and 83% negative predictive value for a clinical diagnosis of PTSD; correct classification was 74%. The PSQI-A is a valid measure to possibly detect PTSD among male military veterans. Assessment of disruptive nocturnal behaviors may provide a cost-effective, nonstigmatizing approach to PTSD screening without directly probing for trauma exposure(s).

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Gender Analysis, Health, PTSD Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

Gender Differences in Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Among OEF/OIF Veterans: An Item Response Theory Analysis

Citation:

King, Matthew W., Amy E. Street, Jaimie L. Gradus, Dawne S. Vogt, and Patricia A. Resick. 2013. “Gender Differences in Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Among OEF/OIF Veterans: An Item Response Theory Analysis.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 26 (2): 175–83. doi:10.1002/jts.21802.

Authors: Jaimie L. Gradus, Matthew W. King, Patricia A. Resick, Amy E. Street, Dawne S. Vogt

Abstract:

Establishing whether men and women tend to express different symptoms of posttraumatic stress in reaction to trauma is important for both etiological research and the design of assessment instruments. Use of item response theory (IRT) can reveal how symptom reporting varies by gender and help determine if estimates of symptom severity for men and women are equally reliable. We analyzed responses to the PTSD Checklist (PCL) from 2,341 U.S. military veterans (51% female) who completed deployments in support of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom [OEF/OIF]), and tested for differential item functioning by gender with an IRT-based approach. Among men and women with the same overall posttraumatic stress severity, women tended to report more frequent concentration difficulties and distress from reminders whereas men tended to report more frequent nightmares, emotional numbing, and hypervigilance. These item-level gender differences were small (on average d = 0.05), however, and had little impact on PCL measurement precision or expected total scores. For practical purposes, men's and women's severity estimates had similar reliability. This provides evidence that men and women veterans demonstrate largely similar profiles of posttraumatic stress symptoms following exposure to military-related stressors, and some theoretical perspectives suggest this may hold in other traumatized populations.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Women, Men, Gender Analysis, Mental Health, PTSD, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2013

Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideation Among Male Iraq/Afghanistan-Era Veterans Seeking Treatment for PTSD

Citation:

Kimbrel, Nathan A., Margaret E. Johnson, Carolina Clancy, Michael Hertzberg, Claire Collie, Elizabeth E. Van Voorhees, Michelle F. Dennis, Patrick S. Calhoun, and Jean C. Beckham. 2014. “Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideation Among Male Iraq/Afghanistan-Era Veterans Seeking Treatment for PTSD.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 27 (4): 474–77. doi:10.1002/jts.21932.

Authors: Patrick S. Calhoun, Carolina Clancy, Claire Collie, Michelle F. Dennis, Michael Hertzberg, Margaret E. Johnson, Nathan A. Kimbrel, Elizabeth E. Van Voorhees, Jean C. Beckham

Abstract:

The objectives of the present research were to examine the prevalence of deliberate self-harm (DSH) among 214 U.S. male Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans seeking treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and to evaluate the relationship between DSH and suicidal ideation within this population. Approximately 56.5% (n = 121) reported engaging in DSH during their lifetime; 45.3% (n = 97) reported engaging in DSH during the previous 2 weeks. As hypothesized, DSH was a significant correlate of suicidal ideation among male Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans, OR = 3.88, p < .001, along with PTSD symptom severity, OR = 1.03, p < .001, and combat exposure, OR = 0.96, p = .040. A follow-up analysis identified burning oneself, OR = 17.14, p = .017, and hitting oneself, OR = 7.93, p < .001, as the specific DSH behaviors most strongly associated with suicidal ideation. Taken together, these findings suggest that DSH is quite prevalent among male Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans seeking treatment for PTSD and is associated with increased risk for suicidal ideation within this population. Routine assessment of DSH is recommended when working with male Iraq/Afghanistan veterans seeking treatment for PTSD.

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Health, Mental Health, Trauma Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2014

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