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Title: Social representations of masculinities in the British Armed Forces
Author: Hale, H. C.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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Within this culture there is a protected version of masculinity. Military rituals, rites, practices, values and structure reflect accepted conceptions of masculinity and femininity. Through focusing on social representations (Moscovici, 1984; 1988b) as a system of ideas, practices and values, this study questions how social representations act to establish an order that allows military men to orientate themselves in their social and material world. What are the strategies that military personnel enact in attempting to develop and sustain a masculine identity? What are and how do specific aspects of military culture contribute to the construction of military masculinities? And how do female military personnel resist or adopt masculine discourses or identities? 71 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 53 male and 18 female personnel of various ranks working in the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force. Six focus groups were also carried out (10 male, 6 female). The results were analysed using Atlas ti, a computer package designed for analysing qualitative data. Analyses of the present narratives have indicated that an outcome of militarisation is the construction of military masculinities. The military rebuilds or reframes masculinities as a means of meeting the aims of the process of militarisation. Further to this, dimensions of military masculinities can be distinguished as, a) qualities and attributes, and b) distinctive in practice. In particular, discipline and interdependence, and the initial military training played a prominent role in the development of hegemonic military masculinities. Through employing the theory of social representations, this study explored how individuals and groups construct out of the diversity and unfamiliarity of a military social space, a predictable stable world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available