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Prof Paul Higate - Militarism and Military Masculinities: Why Do They Matter?
Episode 1111th February 2022 • Now and Men • Durham University Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse
00:00:00 00:56:25

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With the build-up of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine, and the macho posturing of political leaders, military masculinities remain highly influential. But what does this concept mean, and is it something we should be concerned about? How are masculinities constructed within the armed forces? Is UK society becoming increasingly influenced by militarism? We explore these questions and much more with Professor Paul Higate.

Paul is Professor in Security and Conflict at the University of Bath, in the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies. He is an advisory editor for the journal Men & Masculinities, and on the editorial board for the journal Critical Military Studies. He was previously in the Royal Air Force for 8 years as a non-commissioned officer, having enlisted when he was 17.

Paul’s research has focused on the links between service in the British army and homelessness, the experience of armed service leavers more broadly, peacekeepers and sexual exploitation, security and host populations hosting peacekeeping operations, and Private Military Security Companies and masculinity. In 2003 he edited the book ‘Military Masculinities: Identity and the State’ (Praeger). You can read more about Paul’s work here:, and find him on LinkedIn here:

We cover the following topics in this episode:

  • What 'military masculinities' are 
  • The values celebrated within military masculinity
  • How the military is viewed in the UK 
  • Misogyny, homophobia, extremism in service subcultures
  • Parallels between military culture and other masculinised institutions
  • Violence against women in the military
  • 'Feminisation' of the military and more inclusionary approaches to race, sexuality, religion
  • Paul’s experience in the RAF and the impact it had on him
  • Paul’s PhD research on homelessness among veterans
  • Early recruitment of young people in the UK
  • Militarism in Britain: Troops to Teachers, cadet forces, services visibility
  • Impacts of war toys and video games
  • Symbolism of the poppy
  • What the military might look like in the future

Some of Paul’s work:

Other resources of interest: