Creating Citizens, Making Men: The Military and Masculinity in Bolivia

Essay Excerpt

[This article] explores how men, through compulsory military service, shape a positive sense of masculine identity that is, nevertheless, linked to collusion with their own subordination and tied to other gendered patterns of social degradation. To understand this process, I consider how notions of masculinity are constructed in a field of unequal power relationships. My analysis scrutinizes the interplay between masculinity and power by probing the ways that material constraints and beliefs about gender lead subaltern men to participate in a state institution that contributes to the continuing oppression of dominated peoples. It also examines how the armed forces approach the task of creating male soldiers who subscribe to a particular notion of masculinity, and the ways that class, ethnic, and regional tensions threaten this totalizing project (528).

Gill, L. "Creating Citizens, Making Men: The Military and Masculinity in Bolivia." Cultural Anthropology 12.4(1997): 527–550.

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