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Title: Masculinity and war : diaries and letters of soldiers serving in the South African War (1899-1902)
Author: Hill, David
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is located in the general academic rubric of ‘masculinity’ and war but specifically that sort of masculinity that will be identified by its association with the 'Boer War' known more appropriately as the South African War 1899-1902. Since the 1980's, masculinity has been the subject of growing academic and intellectual scrutiny. Within this context the relationship between masculinity and war has not been widely interrogated or documented, and certainly examination of the South African War (1899-1902) and masculinity conflation is negligible. Central to the thesis is the critical examination of the narratives of soldiers who fought in South Africa at this time. The thesis offers a detailed examination of military masculinities as played out in the South African War through critically exploring the soldier's narratives written during the conflict. It locates the analysis within the socio-cultural influences that impacted on the ‘manly’ soldier at the end of the 19th century allowing a 'micro mapping' of masculinity to be revealed in these soldiers' writings. The letters and diaries of soldiers serving in the South African conflict are analysed through the lens of masculinity; employing a qualitative methodology drawing on thematic narrative analysis utilising a ‘tool kit’ comprising three theoretical constructs of social construction, performativity and emotions. The letters and diaries accessed were written by regular and volunteer soldiers both British and colonial, including officers and the ordinary ‘Tommy’. They reveal a range of masculinity themes that become the empirical focus of the research including: manly imagery, patriotism, bravery, camaraderie and social relations between all ranks, lust for fighting, stoicism and honour/dishonour. The critical interrogation of the soldiers' diaries and letters in this thesis concludes that military masculinities in war are complex, multiple and fluid.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available