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DISCOURSE OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION – FOCUS ON WOMEN IN 'ALL-MALE' OCCUPATIONS Marijana Sivric, Ph.D. Faculty of Arts and Hu - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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DISCOURSE OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION – FOCUS ON WOMEN IN 'ALL-MALE' OCCUPATIONS Marijana Sivric, Ph.D. Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Mostar. Introduction. Different aspects of social exclusion, refering to different social, minority, ethnic, gender groups.

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DISCOURSE OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION – FOCUS ON WOMEN IN 'ALL-MALE' OCCUPATIONSMarijana Sivric, Ph.D.Faculty of Arts and HumanitiesUniversity of Mostar

  • Different aspects of social exclusion, refering to different social, minority, ethnic, gender groups.
  • Military/police – most ‘male’ of all organizations/institutions.
  • Position of women in these institutions – discrimination and exclusion.
definition of gender
Definition of gender

Difference between sex and gender

  • Sex – biological category
  • Gender - gender refers to socially constructed roles, ways of behaviour, skills, interests etc. that men and women are expected to have because of their biological sex.
  • The conditioning into gender roles starts early in life (learning how to be a boy or a girl).
  • A person’s gender is learned through socialization and is heavily influenced by the culture of the society concerned.
military as a masculine institution
Military as a masculine institution
  • The traditional organizational culture of armed forces.
  • the organizational structure of armies is heavily gendered and armies put a lot of effort in producing hegemonic masculinity.
  • important aspects of masculinity within the military are: bravery, toughness, physical endurance, aggressiveness and a special kind of rationality.
Many male officers signed up for a military that did not allow women in their ranks
  • On the other hand, many female soldiers are proud of the fact that they made it, they are tough enough to succeed in a 'macho institution'. (change of paradigm)

Critical discourse analysis:

  • analysis on the lexical level (negative opinion words) and (negative) rhetoric presenting women in the mentioned occupational fields.
  • what is explicitly said and what is implied in the discourse (military discourse).
  • stereotypes
exclusion based on
Exclusion based on:
  • Language
  • Ideology and power relations
  • Stereotypes
  • Identity creation
  • Sexual harrassment and other types of physical abuse
  • Language which is not gender inclusive is also often termed sexist language.
  • Sexist language is language that discriminates against women or men (though most often women) by not adequately reflecting their role, status and presence in society.
  • It is the most obvious and first indicator of discrimination or exclusion policy.
  • The honorifics are indicators of"mutually defining identities“, e.g. the use of "ma'am" or "sir" clearly marks amutually agreed superior/subordinate relationship.
  • In addition to being markers ofrelative status, "ma'am" and "sir" arealso clearly marked for gender.
There are indications that "ma'am" may be rendered less frequently than "sir".
  • This could indicate that "ma'am" is pragmatically less powerful than "sir", or it couldindicate that speakers are less familiar, or less comfortable, with the notion of a femaleas superior.
  • Women labeled as :
  • ‘slut’; ‘bitch’; ‘dyke’ (regarding their relations with the male soldiers)
  • ‘eye candy’ (regarding their looks)
  • ‘crybaby’ (regarding their ability to respond to given tasks)
ideology and power
Ideology and power
  • Contemporary ideological values subordinate womento men in military and civilian contexts.
  • Ideology and power relations in discourse create two groups: Us vs. Them.(in-group vs. out-group)
  • Military men have power which enables them to create their own ideology.
  • In the military, power is objectively measured by a combination of rank and position in the hierarchy.
  • Power and solidarity (band of brothers/band of sisters)
  • women's social subordinacy to men can be mitigated by their participation in a system of rank and hierarchy created by men, and which, therefore, men must respect and abide by.
creation of identity
Creation of identity
  • Women may perform masculinity in theperceived masculine environment as a method of forming a military identity. (behaving as male soldiers)
  • Women may construct what they consider a less gendered, or genderneutral, identity as officer, aircrew member, or commander - positions which aregender neutral in that they are not morphologically marked.
  • Women may exaggerate femininity in order to assert their femaleness and performheterosexuality in such an overwhelmingly masculine environment.
military stereotypes
Military stereotypes
  • Men are sociallyconstructed breadwinners who protect the family
  • Women are socially constructed to nurture and supportmen in these pursuits.
  • Men and masculinity symbolizepower, strength, aggression, independence, and machismo.
  • Women and femininity symbolize fragility,weakness, compassion, dependence, and kindness.

(Weinstein & D’Amico, 1999)

Stereotypes are used to measure the performance andworth of military personnel: the closer one’s fit to the stereotype, the better thesoldier.
  • Military stereotypes themselves operate in ahierarchy with the ‘warrior hero’ at the top.
  • The ‘warrior hero’ is described as independent, disciplined, strong, sexuallypotent, and above all masculine (definitely male).
  • The soldier stereotype isthe antithesis of that which is feminine “for the warriorhero, to falter is female”. (Woodward, 2000)
The social frames of stereotypical gendering: “Because men could kill, they weresoldiers : because women were not supposed to kill, theycould never be soldiers”.

Feminine characteristics aresecond to masculine ones yet are necessary for the warriorhero to exist.

the “woman as mother” stereotype places thewoman in the role of support and emotionalprotector of the warrior hero.

In turn, the warrior hero must fight toprotect (physically) the woman who is his mother (or themother of his children).

E.g.: “Great, we’ve got females with us. We’re going to have to take care of them.”

Boldry, Wood, andKasby (2001) found that gender stereotypes adverselyimpact perceptions of women in military trainingprograms as they were consistently evaluated lower thanmen on leadership skills and motivation.
  • the persistence of gender stereotypes in the military isreinforced through the maledominatedhistory of the military.
physical abuse
Physical abuse
  • Sexual harassment refers to any unwelcome sexual advance or conduct on the job (touching, gestures, jokes, display of pornographic material, disparaging remarks.)
  • It has an adverse effect on women's motivation to pursue a military or police career.
  • “I am sick of hearing about ‘equality’ in the military. Women and men are not equal, neither in physical strength, thought processes, nor the way they are perceived by others. In a perfect world, we could all serve with no regards to whether or not we have breasts, but IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!”
“I think if you stay in too long, you begin to act and talk like a man.”
  • “They made it clear that I was not welcome to be part of their fellowship, and that they felt I did not “belong” there because I was a woman.”
“If I was forceful, I was a ‘bitch’. If I was soft, I was not worthy of the uniform and if I didn’t put out, I was a ‘bitch’ and ‘probably a lesbian’.
  • "There are only three kinds of female the men let you be in the military: a bitch, a ho or a dyke."
"This guy out there, he told me he thinks the military sends women over to give the guys eye candy to keep them sane. He said in Vietnam they had prostitutes to keep them from going crazy, but they don't have those in Iraq. So they have women soldiers instead.“
  • "One was labeled a whore because she had a boyfriend, and the other one was a bitch because she wouldn't sleep around. And that's how they were still referred to all these years later."
instead of conclusions
Instead of conclusions:
  • Constructing masculinity as a military masculinityserves as the main source of gender inequality in society.
  • Elements of military training/ socialization provoking gender inequality:

- military language;

- devaluation of what is regarded as being female;

- male bonding;

- drilling;

- rituals of subjugation.

Military women arecaught in an interesting in-between state:
  • they're members of an institution whichabides by a hierarchy which can afford them power;
  • by virtue of their sex-class theycannot necessarily participate fully in that institution - whether due to combatrestrictions, or by virtue of theorganization's definitively masculine nature.
what can we do
What can we do?
  • Rights of women are human rights
  • Education about gender relations:

- gender mainstreaming (NATO and national militaries);

- military discourse;

- military women antagonism – exclusion within the same gender;

- media representation of military women.

  • Transformation of the masculine structure of the military.