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War and Gender:|
How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa
by Joshua S. Goldstein (Cambridge University Press, 2001)
Book of the Decade Award (2000-2009), International Studies Association
"War and Gender is a fascinating book about an important issue. I thoroughly recommend it to everyone who has an interest in why we humans behave the way we do."
-- Jane Goodall (The Jane Goodall Institute)
"What a marvelous book! Readers will be captured by
Goldstein's clear, trenchant writing style, remarkable
interdisciplinary breadth, and the wealth of fascinating new
details and ideas on every page. Some of his conclusions will
undoubtedly be controversial. So much the better. This is
definitely a 'must read' book."
"Joshua Goldstein's book redefines what we think of both
'war' and 'gender.' It is simply the most disturbing account of
the link between sex and violence yet written. Finally, we have
a truly multi-disciplinary study of the subject. Distressing, and
"A must-read for anyone interested in gender and militarism."
Co-winner of the American Political Science Association's Victoria Schuck Award for best book on women and politics, 2002.
|Discussion Forum Email: jg -at- joshuagoldstein -dot- com About the Author About the Cover Photo|
Short excerpts and illustrations on:
Women in WWI
Women in Combat
Gender - Sexuality
Excerpts and information about women's roles in World War I
Goldstein's Op Ed on gender and the war on terrorism (CS Monitor 1/20/02)
ISBN: 0521001803 paperback, 0521807166 hardbound, 523 pp.
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Find at Cambridge U. Press
To directly search all References, click here
Gender roles are nowhere more prominent than in war. Yet contentious debates, and the scattering of scholarship across
academic disciplines, have obscured understanding of how gender affects war and vice versa. In this authoritative and lively
review of our state of knowledge, Joshua Goldstein assesses the possible explanations for the near-total exclusion of women
from combat forces, through history and across cultures. Topics covered include the history of women who did fight and
fought well, the complex role of testosterone in men''s social behaviors, and the construction of masculinity and femininity in
the shadow of war. Goldstein concludes that killing in war does not come naturally for either gender, and that gender norms
often shape men, women, and children to the needs of the war system. lllustrated with photographs, drawings, and graphics,
and drawing from scholarship spanning six academic disciplines, this book provides a unique study of a fascinating issue.
© 2001 Joshua S. Goldstein
Brief Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tables
1. A Puzzle: The Cross-Cultural Consistency of Gender Roles in War
Detailed Table of Contents
|List of Figures and Tables
|1. A Puzzle: The Cross-Cultural Consistency
of Gender Roles in War
A. The Universal Gendering of War
B. The Universal Potential for War
C. Feminist Theories of War and Peace
2. Women Warriors: The Historical Record of Female Combatants
A. Female Combat Units
B. Mixed-Gender Units
C. Individual Women Fighters
D. Women Military Leaders
3. Bodies: The Biology of Individual Gender
B. Testosterone Levels
C. Size and Strength
D. Brains and Cognition
E. Female Sex Hormones and Caregiving
4. Groups: Bonding, Hierarchy, and Social Identity
A. Male Bonding
B. Ability to Work in Hierarchies
C. In-Group/Out-Group Psychology
D. Childhood Gender Segregation
5. Heroes: The Making of Militarized Masculinity
A. Test of Manhood as a Motivation to Fight
B. Feminine Reinforcement of Soldiers' Masculinity
C. Women Peace Activism
6. Conquests: Sex, Rape, and Exploitation in Wartime
A. Male Sexuality as a Cause of Aggression
B. Feminization of Enemies as Symbolic Domination
C. Dependence on Exploiting Women's Labor
7. Reflections: The Mutuality of Gender and War
Sifting the Explanations of Gendered War Roles
Recently, I discovered a list of unfinished research projects, which I had made fifteen years ago at the end of graduate school. About ten lines down is gender and war, with the notation most interesting of all; will ruin career wait until tenure. Fortunately, other political scientists in those years almost all of them women were not so timid in developing feminist scholarship on war. These pioneers laid the intellectual foundations for this project, and were often kind enough to teach me and encourage my gender interests. I am indebted to Carol Cohn, Francine DAmico, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Cynthia Enloe, V. Spike Peterson, Simona Sharoni, Christine Sylvester, J. Ann Tickner, and others. (And, fortunately, I did get tenure.)
A second debt I owe to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which funded a research leave based on my vague idea of writing an interdisciplinary book about war. When it proved slow a-borning, the foundation staff said simply that they would leave a space on their librarys shelf of MacArthur books. Here it is, only seven years late.
The roots of this project and a third debt go back further. I grew up on the Stanford campus, with two molecular biologists for parents. I worked occasionally in my fathers lab, and picked up a feeling for the world of natural science. Only in retrospect do I appreciate what an extraordinary privilege it was to grow up inside Stanford when it was still a small town and, for me, an interdisciplinary incubator.
Science and scholarship are never entirely unbiased, since knowledge-production occurs within social and political contexts. Scientists occupy positions in social hierarchies. Arguments serve purposes and reflect political agendas. Personally, I write from a position of privilege and security, as a white, male, North American, tenured social scientist. I have never been in a war or served in the military, though I was born in the shadow of World War II and turned 18 during Vietnam as a peace activist. My political agenda today is anti-war and pro-feminist, tempered over several decades by an appreciation of the enormous complexity and difficulty of these important changes in human society. All these perspectives, no doubt, affect the character of my book, but I would single out especially that of being a man. Men
This book summarizes a large and complex body of evidence drawn from different research communities in a variety of academic disciplines. Bringing this material together requires some translation, but I try not to over-translate others voices, nor to massage the mass of sometimes contradictory material to fit a single theory or dogma. The result is a longer book, but a richer one. I have tried hard to be careful, fair, and above all honest about where the empirical evidence leads, and about how poorly simplistic models and theories describe our complex world.
The research literatures covered here are growing exponentially. My review, with some exceptions, ends in early 1999, although new and interesting works continue to appear (notably Kurtz ed. 1999 and Bourke 1999). Many others will follow. For updates and discussions, see this books website, www.warandgender.com.
Exchanging ideas with scholars from other disciplines has been a special pleasure of this project. For their suggestions on a previous draft and on the project, I thank in particular John Archer, Frans de Waal, Mel and Carol Ember, Seymour and Norma Feshbach, Walter Goldschmidt, Jane Goodall, Sir Michael Howard, Paul Kennedy, Melvin Konner, Charles Lawrence, Eleanor Maccoby, Mari Matsuda, Richard Wrangham, and the late Carl Sagan.
In my own discipline I especially thank in addition to the feminist theorists mentioned earlier Hayward Alker, Neta Crawford, Randy Forsberg, Peter Haas, Ruth Jacobson, Sarah Johnson, Adam Jones, Stephen Krasner, Nanette Levinson, Jack Levy, Lory Manning, Jane Mansbridge, Craig Murphy, Shoon Murray, Robert North, Jim Rosenau, Bruce Russett, Cathy Schneider, Shibley Telhami, and others. Thanks also to participants in seminars and conversations at Yale, Stanford, Cornell, University of Massachusetts, American University, the University of Maryland, Rutgers, and the Peace Science Society and International Studies Association conferences. For research assistance and support, I thank the incomparable Elizabeth Kittrell, Wendy Hunter, Brook Demmerle, Briana Saunders, Teruo Iwai, Maryanne Yerkes, American University, University of Sothern California, University of Massachusetts, Yale, and Harvard. For seeing the potential of this book, I thank my editor at Cambridge University Press, John Haslam. Thanks to Reena Bernards, Cynthia Schrager, Elena Stone, and Allan Lefcowitz for writing help. For long-distance spiritual support during this long, difficult project, I appreciate Joyce Galaski, Ericka Huggins, and Reena Kling. Finally, thanks to Andra, Solomon, and Ruth for companionship and humor.
About the footnotes
The footnotes, grouped by paragraph of text, provide work and page citations for quotes and specific claims, indicated by an identifier word before the page number. A subject word followed by a colon applies to subsequent citations until the next colon. A citation without identifier or subject word refers to a discussion relevant to the paragraph but not to any particular claim or quote in it. Some authors cited for a paragraph may be dissenting arguments from the paragraphs point. Some of the footnotes encapsulate running conversations, which the interested reader can reconstruct from the sequence of page citations given.
About the website
Discussions and updates regarding the topics raised in this book may be found at its site on the World Wide Web, www.warandgender.com. Scholarly resources include a searchable list of the References. Join an interdisciplinary conversation, check for errata (sigh), or read the first chapter.
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