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War is where the hearth is: gendered labor and the everyday reproduction of the geopolitical in the army reserves

Basham, Victoria and Catignani, Sergio 2018. War is where the hearth is: gendered labor and the everyday reproduction of the geopolitical in the army reserves. International Feminist Journal of Politics 20 (2) , pp. 153-171. 10.1080/14616742.2018.1442736

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The feminized imaginary of “home and hearth” has long been central to the notion of soldiering as masculinist protection. Soldiering and war are not only materialized by gendered imaginaries of home and hearth though, but through everyday labors enacted within the home. Focusing on in-depth qualitative research with women partners and spouses of British Army reservists, we examine how women’s everyday domestic and emotional labor enables reservists to serve, constituting “hearth and home” as a site through which war is made possible. As reservists – who are still overwhelmingly heterosexual men – become increasingly called upon by the state, one must consider how the changing nature of the Army’s procurement of soldiers is also changing demands on women’s labor. Feminist IPE scholars have shown broader trends in the outsourcing of labor to women and its privatization. Our research similarly underscores the significance of everyday gendered labor to the geopolitical. Moreover, we highlight the fragility of military power, given that women can withdraw their labor at any time. The article concludes that paying attention to women’s everyday labor in the home facilitates greater understanding of one of the key sites through which war is both materialized and challenged.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1461-6742
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 January 2018
Date of Acceptance: 20 December 2017
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 12:50

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