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The Female Combatant: Performing and Challenging Gender Paradigms.

Stanislaus, Adele. (2013) The Female Combatant: Performing and Challenging Gender Paradigms. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This thesis makes an original contribution to our understanding of the female combatant by offering an account of ‘how’ women adopt the practices of military masculinity and become soldiers. Poststructuralism/postmodernism frames the analysis and helps to address the contingency in gender identity that the female combatant represents. The thesis is divided into two parts. In Part One, the historical analyses reveal that women have related to armies and the military in three main guises: they functioned as camp followers; they also cross-dressed as military men in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; in the twentieth century they served as ‘auxiliaries’ in World War I and World War II. Each of these representations of military women is underpinned by their relationship to military masculinity. These gender relations contributed to the institutionalisation of hegemonic military masculinity, and they expose the historical role of the military as a gender actor. Part Two is a case study of the British military. The chapters in this section provide a more detailed exposition of the production of military masculinity in the dominant discourse entrenched in official documents. The analysis draws out the way ‘woman’ is represented in the British army. Autobiographical accounts and data from semistructured interviews with British military women shed light on their encounter with military masculinity, and the flux in their gender identity. The analysis brings together Foucault’s understanding of discipline, discourse and power, and Butler’s exposition of gender and performativity, to demonstrate the way hegemonic military masculine practices iterated on the body of the female combatant make it possible for women to become soldiers.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Stanislaus, Adele.
Date : 2013
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2013.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 14:17
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 14:22
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856551

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