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Inhabiting no-man’s-land: the military mobilities of army wives

Hyde, Alexandra (2015) Inhabiting no-man’s-land: the military mobilities of army wives. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This research is an ethnography of a British Army regiment from the perspective of women married to servicemen. Its aim is to question wives's power and positionality vis-à-vis the military institution and consider the implications for how to understand the everyday operation of military power. The project is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted on and around a regimental camp in Germany during a period when the regiment’s soldiers were also deployed in Afghanistan. As social relations are spun across multiple times and spaces, it analyses women's negotiation of presence and absence, home and away, and distance and proximity. Women married to servicemen emerge as mobile subjects, whose gendered labour and identities serve to trouble the boundary between the military and civilian 'spheres'. The research explores multiple conditions for women's encounters with military presence on a day-to-day basis, from the mandate for international migration and the regiment’s production of social cohesion, to the formal hierarchy of rank and the temporal and spatial registers of an operational tour. The analysis highlights the dependence of these structures on a military-sexual division of labour, at the same time as women can be argued to mobilise social, cultural and discursive resources to appropriate or transcend the place they are allocated in a military social order. It is in this sense that they might be argued to bargain with the terms of their militarisation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Alexandra Hyde
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Sets: Departments > Gender Institute
Supervisor: Henry, Marsha

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