The Masculine State in Crisis: War Resistance in Apartheid South Africa

Conway, D. 2008. The Masculine State in Crisis: War Resistance in Apartheid South Africa. Men and Masculinities. 10 (4), pp. 422-439. doi:10.1177/1097184X07306742

TitleThe Masculine State in Crisis: War Resistance in Apartheid South Africa
AuthorsConway, D.
Abstract

External and internal forces threatened the apartheid state in the 1980s. The refusal to perform compulsory military service by individual white men and the increasing number of white South Africans who criticized the role of the military and apartheid governance had the potential to destabilize the gendered binaries on which white social order and Nationalist rule rested. The state constituted itself as a heterosexual, masculine entity in crisis and deployed a number of gendered discourses in an effort to isolate and negate objectors to military service. The state articulated a nationalist discourse that defined the white community in virile, masculine, and heroic terms. Conversely, “feminine” weakness, cowardice, and compromise were scorned. Objectors, as “strangers” in the public realm, were most vulnerable to homophobic stigmatization from the state and its supporters

KeywordsMasculinities, militarisation, militarism, conscription, war resistance, conscientious objection, South Africa, apartheid, resistance, gender, sexuality, homophobia
JournalMen and Masculinities
Journal citation10 (4), pp. 422-439
ISSN1097-184X
Year2008
PublisherSage
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/1097184X07306742
Publication dates
Published24 Oct 2007

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