Gender, Sexuality, and Institutions of Hegemonic Masculinity

Annica Kronsell

in Gender, Sex, and the Postnational Defense

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199846061
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933099 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations

Gender, Sexuality, and Institutions of Hegemonic Masculinity

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This chapter explores gender and sexuality in the context of the Swedish military, conceptualized as an institution of hegemonic masculinity. It begins from the perspective of the woman soldier involved with military practices. This makes masculine norms apparent while showing the dilemmas around the formation of a woman-in-arms femininity. It shows how sexuality is used for unit cohesion. Unit cohesion is constructed on both masculine heterosexuality and homosociality, and is believed to be threatened by the inclusion of women and homosexuals. This explains military policies that exclude women from combat and homosexuals from serving. Finally, the “new values for the defense” attempts to deal with sexuality and gender are explored. While less challenging to the military it essentialized women, limited their contribution and trivialized the role of sexuality.

Keywords: hegemonic masculinity; cohesion; homosociality; new values; woman-in-arms femininity; differences

Chapter.  11517 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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