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Gender and Military Memoirs

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military
EditorsRachel Woodward, Claire Duncanson
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages525 - 542
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-51677-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-51676-3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2017


This chapter explores how military memoirs, the published autobiographical books written by military personnel about the experience of military participation, might be used to inform our thinking about the relationships between gender and military phenomena. We consider how the genre is itself gendered, and establish its defining features. We then discuss how memoirs portray particular ideas about the constitution and expression of gender identities within military forces. We look at how memoirs inform arguments about the roles and functions of armed forces within liberal democracies. We consider how memoirs engage with questions about women’s military participation. We conclude with some reflections on military memoirs as a data source in the context of social scientific research on gender and the military.

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