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Title: Boys Becoming Men: Masculine Socialisation in National Service
Keywords: hegemonic masculinity, military, militarism, civil-military relations, Singapore
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2018
Citation: HANNAH HAW (2018-04-16). Boys Becoming Men: Masculine Socialisation in National Service. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Conscription into the armed forces is mandatory for all able-bodied male citizens and 2nd-generation Permanent Residents in Singapore. While National Service (NS) is a frequent subject of popular discourse, the academic literature does not reflect the wealth of sociological insights that this institution provides. Specifically, few studies have examined the ways in which NS in Singapore functions as a masculinising institution. By seeking to characterise the masculine socialisation that takes place during NS, this paper is positioned as an exploratory attempt to convince the reader that Singapore presents a provocative case to the field of military masculinities studies. 11 National Servicemen (Full-time) were interviewed and their responses were scrutinised using (1) hegemonic masculinity theory and (2) military masculinities as analytical tools. The sub-arguments made – namely that (1) a hegemonic male ideal is discursively produced but does not closely resemble what is expected from consulting the literature; and that (2) masculinisation in NS does not quite conform to militarism – are synthesised in the context of civil-military relations in Singapore. The evidence reveals that civilian life shapes military experiences in NS more so than the other way around. As such, masculinisation through NS is characterised to a greater extent by a spill-over of ‘civilianisation’ into the armed forces than that of ‘militarisation’ into civil society.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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