The Air Force

Melissa T. Brown

in Enlisting Masculinity

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199842827
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933105 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations

The Air Force

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Chapter 6 provides background material on the Air Force’s culture and recruiting history, before presenting an analysis of the recruiting materials. Air Force advertising has emphasized job training and specifically offered respect and advancement to blue-collar, mechanically inclined young men, reinforcing a working-class masculinity. Air Force recruiting has also made advanced technology a central draw; through association with this technology, the Air Force offers the masculine rewards of mastery, dominance, and control. In recent years, the Air Force has offered recruits not direct physical excitement, but the vicarious thrills of video games, which provide extreme experiences through the mediation of technology. The chapter also gives a brief history of women in the Air Force and examines their portrayal in recruiting advertisements. The Air Force has the largest percentage of women, but its advertising has mainly targeted technically inclined young men; women have been only a token presence.

Keywords: Air Force; Air Force recruiting; technology; working-class masculinity; video games; recruiting advertisements; women in the Air Force

Chapter.  13474 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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