Token or full member of the team? : an examination of the utilization and status of women in combat arms positions in the armed forces of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America
It is argued in this thesis that because of the androcentric nature of the military institution women in combat arms positions in the armed forces of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America are or will be tokens. In order to investigate and support the hypothesis several areas of literature had to be examined and interviews undertaken with military policy-makers/advisers, recruiters and retired female brigadier generals.Chapter One examines the broad body of literature in the field of military sociology. This chapter details the history of the evolution of the military from a mercenary force to mass armies sustained by conscription through to all-volunteer forces. It also exammes the effect of technology on the military, the changing role of the military in society, and theories of occupationalization versus the institutionalization/professionalization of the armed forces.Chapter Two examines and critiques the notions of inherent female pacifism and inherent male aggression expounded within some of the feminist literature. By detailmg a cross-cultural history of women warriors and female combatants the aforementioned notions are dismissed as untenable. Chapter Three continues with a presentation of the history of the utilization of women in the armed forces of the three countries from their first unofficial presence as "camp-followers" to the present day expanded roles in combat positions.In Chapter Four the theories of tokenism utilized in this thesis are detailed. This chapter presents and assesses the definitions of "token" and "tokenism". A review of the literature of women in male-dominated occupations and women in the military as "tokens" is also undertaken.The fifth chapter details the methodology utilized in this thesis. The fieldwork and questionnaire developmental processes, the interview questionnaires, details of the respondents and the locations of the interviews, and problems encountered in the research are presented.Chapter Six involves a presentation of the results of the interviews with military policymakers/ advisers, recruiters and retired female general officers. The results are presented on a person-by-person basis followed by overall generalizations and generalizations based on country and occupational category all of which provide the impetus for the supporting of the hypothesis.It is in the eighth chapter that theory is applied to practice in that the theories and definitions of tokens and tokenism are applied to the results of the interviews and supplemented by defence document studies to support the hypothesis that because of the androcentric nature of the military institution women in combat arms positions in the armed forces of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America are or will be tokens.