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: https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/persons/paul-higate, and find him on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-higate-956876b/.
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