Real Men Use Nonlethals: Appeals to Masculinity in Marketing Police Weaponry


Wozniak, Jesse, and Christopher Uggen. 2009. “Real Men Use Nonlethals: Appeals to Masculinity in Marketing Police Weaponry.” Feminist Criminology 4 (3): 275–93. doi:10.1177/1557085109332676.

Authors: Jesse Wozniak, Christopher Uggen


In recent years, a range of new nonlethal weapons have been introduced for use by police officers, military personnel, and other consumers. This article examines how manufacturers are employing ideals of masculinity as both physical dominance and technical expertise in marketing these weapons to police officials. Based on a case study of a major weapons manufacturer’s educational and sales conference, the authors explore how marketing appeals are adapted to suit a hypermasculine police subculture. Connell’s theory of masculinities is employed to understand how such a tightly defined subculture absorbs challenges to its core values of hegemonic hypermasculinity and reimagines itself to keep those core values intact.

Keywords: weapons, policing, masculinity, Connell, justice, stun guns, conducted energy device, police habitus, gender and policing

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2009

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