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Military Forces & Armed Groups

What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?

Citation:

Zalewski, Marysia. 2017. “What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 200-5.

Author: Marysia Zalewski

Abstract:

This think piece queries the value of the concept of military masculinities. This overly familiar and comfortable concept is perhaps falling short of its intended ambitions. Masculinized and militarized violence is rampant and no amount of ‘adding women’ (or other ‘others’) seems to make a difference. This begs the question of how much work we imagine concepts can do, as well as how much control we think we have over them.

Keywords: concepts, masculinities, violence, gender

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Violence

Year: 2017

Re-Thinking Hegemonic Masculinities in Conflict-Affected Contexts

Citation:

Myrttinen, Henri, Lana Khattab and Jana Naujoks. 2017. “Re-Thinking Hegemonic Masculinities in Conflict-Affected Contexts.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 103-19.

Authors: Henri Myrttinen, Lana Khattab, Jana Naujoks

Abstract:

Masculinities in conflict-affected and peacebuilding contexts have generally speaking been under-researched. Much of the existing research focuses relatively narrowly on men and their ‘violences’, especially that of combatants. Conceptually, much of the policy debate has revolved around either men’s ‘innate’ propensity to violence or relatively simplistic uses of frameworks such as hegemonic, military/militarized, or ‘hyper’-masculinities. These discourses have often been reinforced and reproduced without relating them to their respective local historical, political, and socio-economic contexts. In academic circles, the discussion is more advanced and progressive, but this has yet to filter through to on-the-ground work. Considering the overwhelming role men play in producing and reproducing conflict-related and other forms of violence, a better understanding of the links between masculinities and violence – as well as non-violence – should be central to examining gender, conflict, and peace. Nonetheless, currently a large part of masculinities are side-lined in research, such as those of non-combatants or displaced persons, the associated challenges of ‘thwarted masculinities’, or the positive agency of peacebuilders. Non-heterosexual masculinities also are largely invisible. Based on recent multi-country field research, we aim to highlight some of the under-researched issues revolving around conflict-affected masculinities while also discussing some conceptual challenges arising as a result. Our two key arguments are that the notion of ‘hegemonic masculinities’ in conflict-affected situations needs to be re-examined and re-articulated in more nuanced ways, and that the scope of studying masculinities in these situations needs to be broadened to go beyond merely examining the violences of men.

Keywords: masculinities, conflict, peacebuilding

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, conflict, peace and security, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Violence

Year: 2017

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, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization

Year: 2017

Amnesty, Patriarchy and Women: The ‘Missing Gender’ Voice in Post-Conflict Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Citation:

Umejesi, Ikechukwu. 2014. “Amnesty, Patriarchy and Women: The ‘Missing Gender’ Voice in Post-Conflict Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.” Gender & Behaviour 12 (1): 6223–37.

Author: Ikechukwu Umejesi

Abstract:

On 25 June 2009, the Federal Government of Nigeria declared amnesty for all armed groups fighting against the Nigerian state and oil producing companies in the Niger Delta region. The amnesty project spelt out a triple program of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of the militant groups. In other words, the program was designed to end the conflict and reintegrate the militants into the society through an economic empowerment process. While the amnesty program was hailed as "reconciliatory", "compensatory" and a "sustainable solution" towards achieving lasting peace in the restive region, the program seems to benefit only men who constitute the bulk of the militants and their commanders. It does not take into consideration the socio-ecologic and economic losses suffered by women throughout the course of the struggle. This paper asks: where are the women? Is the amnesty program an empowerment project or an entrenchment of patriarchy in the Niger Delta region? Using both primary and secondary sources, this article examines these questions as a way of understanding government's amnesty policy and its gender dynamics.

Keywords: Niger Delta, conflict, amnesty, women, patriarchy, gender, militants

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Economies, Economic Inequality, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state armed groups, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2014

Problematizing Military Masculinity, Intersectionality and Male Vulnerability in Feminist Critical Military Studies

Citation:

Henry, Marsha. 2017. “Problematizing Military Masculinity, Intersectionality and Male Vulnerability in Feminist Critical Military Studies.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 182-99.

Author: Marsha Henry

Abstract:

Recent work on the multiplicity of masculinities within specific military contexts deploys the concept of intersectionality in order to draw attention to the hierarchies present in military organizations or to acknowledge male vulnerability in situations of war and conflict. While it is important to examine the breadth and depth of masculinity as an ideology and practice of domination, it is also important for discussions of military masculinity, and intersectionality, to be connected with the ‘originary’ black feminist project from which intersectionality was born. This may indeed reflect a more nuanced and historically attuned account of such concepts as intersectionality, but also black and double consciousness, standpoint and situated knowledges. In particular, what happens when concepts central to feminist theorizing and activism suddenly become of use for studying dominant groups such as male military men? What are our responsibilities in using these concepts in unexpected and perhaps politically questionable ways? This article looks at recent feminist theorizing on intersectionality, and several examples of the use of intersectionality in relation to masculinity and the military, and finally suggests some cautionary ways forward for rethinking militaries, masculinities, and feminist theories.

Keywords: military masculinity, militarised masculinities, intersectionality, gender, race, class, vulnerability, marginal, privilege

Topics: Class, Ethnicity, Gender, Men, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, intersectionality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Race

Year: 2017

Beyond the Hegemonic in the Study of Militaries, Masculinities, and War

Citation:

Chisholm, Amanda, and Joanna Tidy. 2017. “Beyond the Hegemonic in the Study of Militaries, Masculinities, and War.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 99-102.

Authors: Amanda Chisholm, Joanna Tidy

Annotation:

"This special issue advances what we identify as an emerging curiosity within accounts of military masculinities. This curiosity concerns the silences within and disruptions to our well-established and perhaps too comfortable understandings of and empirical focal points for military masculinities, gender, and war. The special issue is situated within emerging critiques of military masculinities. Scholars such as Stachowitsch (2015), Richter-Montpetit (2007), Howell (2007), and Belkin (2012) all expand where we locate gendered militarist logics of war and its various contestations. In common with these scholars, the contributors to this special issue trouble the ease with which we might be tempted to synonymize militaries, war, and a neat, ‘hegemonic’ masculinity. Taking the disruptions, the asides, and the silences seriously, we claim, challenges the common wisdoms of military masculinities, gender, and war in productive and necessary ways" (Chishom and Tidy, 2017, p. 99).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, conflict, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism

Year: 2017

Clients, Contractors, and the Everyday Masculinities in Global Private Security

Citation:

Chisholm, Amanda. 2017. “Clients, Contractors, and the Everyday Masculinities in Global Private Security.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 120-41.

Author: Amanda Chisholm

Abstract:

This article explores the intimate relationships between the client and the security contractor. It draws upon autoethnography to bring into focus the client/contractor encounters and demonstrate how such encounters (re)shape the marginal and hegemonic men/ masculinities of the security industry – masculinities which work to legitimize not only who and what are appropriate security providers but also how value/valuation of security is understood and practised. As such it contributes to the broader debates about gender and war by (1) demonstrating how the researcher is always embedded in and shaped by the research she produces; and (2) by bringing to the fore the multitude of masculinities, beyond the hegemonic militarized, that emerge in private security markets.

Keywords: autoethnography, military, militarization, private military and security companies, masculinities, feminist political economy

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2017

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

Faslane Peace Camp and the Political Economy of the Everyday

Citation:

Eschle, Catherine. 2016. “Faslane Peace Camp and the Political Economy of the Everyday.” Globalizations 13 (6): 912-14.

Author: Catherine Eschle

Annotation:

"In what ways is ‘the everyday’ reproduced and reconfigured at protest camps? I pursue this question in my current research project, in which protest camps are defined as a ‘place-based social movement strategy that involves both acts of ongoing protest and acts of social reproduction needed to sustain everyday life’ (Feigenbaum, Frenzel, & McCurdy, 2013, p. 12). My interest in the domestic arrangements of camps is common among observers, appearing prurient and disproportionate to those actually living them. As one interviewee from Faslane Peace Camp put it, ‘D’you know, I am actually here to try and stop the end of the world . . . and all you want to talk about is the bloody toilets!’ (‘Anna’, interview 22/10/2014). Nonetheless, buttressed by a feminist curiosity about the interconnections between the personal and political, I cling to the view that the reconfiguration of the everyday in protest camps is intrinsic rather than irrelevant to their political effect. In this short piece, I examine how daily life at Faslane Peace Camp, in Scotland, depends upon and fosters the critical interrogation of economic norms" (Eschle 2016, p. 912).

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict Prevention, Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, peace and security, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nonviolence Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2016

Everyday Matters in Global Private Security Supply Chains: A Feminist Global Political Economy Perspective on Gurkhas in Private Security

Citation:

 
Chisholm, Amanda, and Saskia Stachowitsch. 2016. “Everyday Matters in Global Private Security Supply Chains: A Feminist Global Political Economy Perspective on Gurkhas in Private Security.” Globalizations 13 (6): 815-29. 

Authors: Amanda Chisholm, Saskia Stachowitsch

Abstract:

In a case study of Nepalese Gurkhas working for Western private military and security companies (PMSCs), this article develops feminist global political economy understandings of global labour chains by exploring how the ‘global market’ and the ‘everyday’ interact in establishing private security as a gendered and racialised project. Current understandings of PMSCs, and global markets at large, tend to depoliticise these global and everyday interactions by conceptualising the ‘everyday’ as common, mundane, and subsequently banal. Such understandings, we argue, not only conceal the everyday within private security, but also reinforce a conceptual dualism that enables the security industry to function as a gendered and racialised project. To overcome this dualism, this article offers a theoretically informed notion of the everyday that dissolves the hegemonic separation into ‘everyday’ and ‘global’ levels of analysis. Drawing upon ethnography, semi- structured interviews, and discourse analysis of PMSCs’ websites, the analysis demonstrates how race, gender, and colonial histories constitute global supply chains for the security industry, rest upon and reinforce racialised and gendered migration patterns, and depend upon, as well as shape, the everyday lives and living of Gurkha men and women.

Keywords: Gurkhas, private security, feminist security studies, feminist global political economy, masculinity

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Political Economies, Race, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2016

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