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Militarism in the everyday: responses to domestic abuse in the British Armed Forces

Gray, Harriet (2015) Militarism in the everyday: responses to domestic abuse in the British Armed Forces. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis is an empirical study of responses to domestic abuse in marriages between civilian women, and men serving in the British Armed Forces. It draws on 45 in-depth interviews with victim-survivors and perpetrators of abuse and with support workers in both military and civilian roles. The thesis is informed by feminist theorisations of domestic abuse which identify the gender inequalities at its roots. I explore the ways in which aspects of everyday militarism shape responses to domestic abuse in this context, including the impact both of hegemonic forms of military gendered identity, and of the structural violences which shape the lives of civilian women married to servicemen in the British military. In addition, I draw attention to some of the depoliticising ways in which the causes of domestic abuse have been understood within the British military community, and point to the impact that these depoliticising notions have on broader attempts to engage politically with domestic abuse and with militarism. The thesis highlights the linkages which exist between multiple forms of gendered violence which occur on different ‘scales’ from the intimate to the global. I draw connections between the gendered project of militarism and the everyday gendered relations of inequality which shape the social contexts in which the individuals who participated in the study responded to abuse. I argue that the common failure to recognise and to respond to domestic abuse as a gendered social and political problem in this context serves to both depoliticise and to reproduce everyday forms of militarism and thus, that it plays a role in the enabling of the use of armed violence on the geopolitical stage.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Harriet Gray
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Gender Institute
Supervisor: Henry, Marsha

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