New Article: Perez & Sasson-Levy, Avoiding Military Service in a Militaristic Society

Perez, Merav, and Orna Sasson-Levy. “Avoiding Military Service in a Militaristic Society: A Chronicle of Resistance to Hegemonic Masculinity.” Peace & Change 40.4 (2015): 462-88.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pech.12143

 

Abstract

This article examines the connection between masculine identity and avoidance of military service in a militaristic society. Based on retrospective interviews with Israeli middle-class men who initiated their release from military service on medical–psychological grounds, we argue that this choice embodies resistance to patterns identified with the local hegemonic masculinity and that this resistance gradually intensifies over the life course. The first signs of opposition emerge in early adolescence, when the perception of self diverges from the conventional masculine mold. The emotionally charged encounter with the military deepens this resistance, which is then reinforced by the decision not to serve, and ultimately leads to the construction of the present nonconformist identity. The development of a nonconformist self that is not subject to the dictates of the local hegemonic masculinity demonstrates how in a militaristic society, even a personal decision not to serve becomes an act rife with gendered meanings and political significance.

 

 

 

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