Added: July 4, 2015 – Last updated: April 6, 2019


Author: Ashley Jennifer Bickerton

Title: ‘Good Soldiers’, ‘Bad Apples’ and the ‘Boys’ Club’

Subtitle: Media Representations of Military Sex Scandals and Militarized Masculinities

Thesis: Ph.D. Thesis, University of Ottawa

Advisor: Claire Turenne Sjolander

Year: 2015

Pages: v + 564pp.

OCLC Number: 1032910204 – Find a Library: WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History; Oceanian History, Australian History | Cases: Incidents / HMAS Swan Scandal, Tailhook Scandal; Representations: Press / 20th-Century Press; Representations: Television / 20th-Century Television; Types: Sexual Harassment, Workplace Sexual Violence / Sexual Violence in the Military


Link: uO Research: Digital Repository of the University of Ottawa (Free Access)


Abstract: »This thesis examines news representations of Canadian, American and Australian military personnel involved in military 'sex scandals'. I explore what the representations of military personnel involved in well-publicized sex scandals reveal about scripts of soldiering and militarized masculinities. Despite a history of systemic violence in the military, I ask how and why the systemic nature of militarized masculinities are able to remain invisible, driving representations to focus on the ‘bad’ behaviour of individuals? By engaging with feminist scholarship in International Relations, I present the longstanding culture of misogyny, racism, homophobia and ableism in the Canadian, American and Australian militaries, focusing on the ways in which militarized masculinities are guided by these violent structures, and fundamental to the military's creation of soldiers. My dissertation uses the tools of critical discourse analysis to unpack the ways blame is individualised in cases of sexual and racist violence involving military personnel, while the military’s ableism, rape culture and imperial militarized masculinities are commonly naturalized or celebrated without regard for how they are fundamentally violent. My thesis presents an intersectional feminist project that intervenes in emerging questions in the field of transnational disability studies, tracing how militarism, hegemonic militarized masculinities and imperial soldiering (re)produce categories of ability and disability.« (Source: Thesis)


  Abstract (p. ii)
  Acknowledgements (p. iii)
  Introduction: Military Scandals, Militarized Masculinities and Systemic Responsibility (p. 1)
    The 1991 “Tailhook Affair” (p. 1)
    The 1992 HMAS Swan Scandal (p. 5)
    The 1993 Somalia Affair (p. 10)
    Representations and Militarized Masculinities (p. 19)
    Sexual Violence (p. 21)
    Trophies (p. 23)
    Racist Imperial Violence (p. 24)
    Monstrosity and Ableism (p. 25)
    Axes of Militarized Masculinities (p. 27)
  Chapter 1: Men, Hegemonic Masculinities and Militarized Masculinities (p. 29)
    Militarization and Militarism (p. 40)
    Militarization, Gender and Masculinities (p. 46)
    The Construction of Militarized Masculinities (p. 50)
    Strength and Economic Independence (p. 52)
    Excessive Violence, Aggression and Sexual Violence (p. 68)
    Practices of Imperial Violence and Racialized Constructions of Enemies and Soldiers (p. 78)
    Intersectionality, Hegemony and Militarized Masculinities without Men (p. 87)
    Representations of Masculinities, Madness and Violence in the News (p. 91)
    Violent Masculinities as a Silent Norm (p. 92)
    The Denial or Acceptance of Gender Violence and Racism (p. 98)
    Blame, Madness and Criminality in Sexual Violence (p. 102)
    Deconstructing the Intersections of Militarization and Militarized Masculinities (p. 106)
  Chapter 2: News Representations, Silences, Case Studies and a Thematic Critical Discourse Analysis (p. 108)
    The Media and Discourse (p. 111)
    The Media, Discourse and Gender Constructions (p. 115)
    Case Studies (p. 116)
    Data Collection and Media as Discursive Text (p. 117)
    Masculinities, Race, and Madness in Sexual Violence News Media (p. 122)
    Thematic Critical Discourse Analysis: Reading for Ideologies, Assumptions and Silences (p. 124)
    Close Reading and Identification of Themes (p. 129)
    Reading the Silent Discourses of Militarized Masculinities in the News (p. 137)
  Chapter 3: Sexual Violence, Militarized Masculinities and the ‘Boys’ Club’ (p. 139)
    The Material Realities of Sexual Violence in Militaries (p. 140)
    Militarized Masculinities, Sexual Violence and the Protection of Perpetrators (p. 150)
    Gender, Sexuality and Difference (p. 151)
    Bonding and Loyalty (p. 175)
  Chapter 4: Militarized Masculinities, Trophies and Competitions for the Cup (p. 187)
    Misogyny, Sexualized Aggression and Able-bodied Superiority (p. 190)
    Dehumanizing Militarized Trophies of Violence, Racial Superiority, Whiteness and Masculinities (p. 211)
    Trophies of Militarized Masculinities (p. 224)
  Chapter 5: Racist Imperial Violence, Militarized Discourses and Militarized Masculinities (p. 226)
    Exception and Exceptionalism (p. 229)
    Militarized Dehumanization and Difference (p. 244)
    Militarized Masculinities and Racist Imperial Violence (p. 250)
  Chapter 6: Monstrosity, Ableism and Militarized Masculinities (p. 252)
    The ‘Normal’ White Body (p. 256)
    Gender, Sexuality and Class (p. 278)
  Conclusion: Root Causes of Military “Sex Scandals”: Militarized Masculinities (p. 291)
  Bibliography (p. 304)

Wikipedia: History of Oceania: History of Australia / History of Australia since 1945 | History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1991–2008) | Sex and the law: Sexual assault in the United States military / Tailhook scandal