International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Women— The Reserve Army of Army Labor

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The state has utilized women militarily within the context of gener al security formulas, rarely as a consequence of pressures exerted by women themselves. The process by which the state determines its specific military man power needs is to a large extent an ideological process. The state officials not only conceptualize women's “proper” role in security systems; they also conceptualize the roles of racial, ethnic and class subgroups. As far as possible, state officials try to utilize women militarily with minimal alteration of the existing gender ide ology. Thus women are typically demobilized as soon after a crisis as possible. In addition, military conditions such as “combat” and “front lines” are redefined so as to avoid mobilization of women clashing with current gender norms. These ideological processes and the contradictions they often generate are revealed in three spheres of women's military utilization: as soldiers, as defense industry lab orers, as mothers of future soldiers. The military histories of Britain, the United States, Soviet Union, Germany, Israel and China expose these processes. © 1980, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Review of Radical Political Economics

Publication Date

1-1-1980

Volume

12

Issue

2

First Page

42

Last Page

52

ISSN

0486-6134

DOI

10.1177/048661348001200206

Keywords

women, armed forces

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