Minorities in the Military

Karin De Angelis and David R. Segal

in The Oxford Handbook of Military Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399325
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Minorities in the Military

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As American society becomes more socially diverse, the composition of the all-volunteer military, which is built through recruitment and retention, reflects this diversity. In this chapter, we examine the role of minorities in the military, with an emphasis on African Americans, Hispanics, women, and individuals who embody multiple minority characteristics. We begin with a discussion of the key macro- and micro-theoretical perspectives guiding research on minorities, including issues of social representation and legitimacy. Then, we discuss the integration experiences of racial and ethnic minorities and women, by focusing on formal policies regarding their participation, past and current concerns, and demographics. We transition to key arguments involving cohesion and military effectiveness used both for and against greater diversity in the ranks, followed by an examination of the interconnectedness among minorities, status, and power in military organizations. We conclude with future debates that address both current and future minority groups in a wartime military.

Keywords: Diversity; social representation; race; ethnicity; gender; cohesion; minorities

Article.  14684 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Health Psychology

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