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Gendering the new hero narratives: Military death in Denmark and Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0497-063X
2017 (English)In: Cooperation and Conflict, ISSN 0010-8367, E-ISSN 1460-3691Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

During the 20th century, wars were fought primarily in the name of protecting the homeland.Making the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ was a national masculine duty and a key feature of military heroism.Today, human rights and international values justify war-making and legitimise military action.In one of these post-national wars, the International Security Assistance Force operation inAfghanistan, more than 700 European soldiers have lost their lives. How have these deaths beenlegitimised, and how has the new security discourse affected notions of masculinised heroism andsacrifice? This article investigates how the dimensions of national/international and masculinity/femininity are negotiated in media narratives of heroism and sacrifice in Denmark and Sweden.Regarding scholarly discussions on the professionalisation, individualisation and domesticationof military heroism, the empirical analysis demonstrates that the Danish/Swedish nationremains posited as the core context for military heroism and sacrifice. In the media narratives,professionalism is represented as an expression of specific national qualities. The media narrativesconflate nation and family and represent military heroes as distinctively masculine and nationalfigures. It is argued that a family trope has become vital in present-day hero narratives. This tropeis disposed towards collective emotions, national loyalty and conservative gender ideals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Gender, family, heroism, International Security Assistance Force mission, narratives, nationalism
National Category
Political Science Gender Studies
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147565DOI: 10.1177/0010836717728540OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147565DiVA: diva2:1146914
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2017-10-04 Created: 2017-10-04 Last updated: 2017-11-14

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Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender StudiesDepartment of Political Science
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
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Output format
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