Nyameka Mankayi


Generally, the military and masculinity are confirmed as harmonious and
mutual. For many countries, military service assumes the status of initiation into
manhood. In South Africa, for example, in the past, young white men were legally
obliged to do military service. This emphasises the importance of focusing on white
masculinities within the South African military in this article. Strong parallels with
10 African2 male soldiers who also underscored hegemonic masculinity are drawn.
The construction of masculinity of young male soldiers is discussed historically and
in the present context. Transcriptions of semi-structured interviews with soldiers
drawn from a total of 14 participants were qualitatively analysed and are presented
to illustrate the themes that emerged in the interviews. The findings suggest that the
military encompasses masculine characteristics and defines soldiering as an
embodiment of traditional male sex practices. This article concludes that military
context and culture exaggerate and emphasise hegemonic masculinity and
heterosexuality for male soldiers.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/38-2-88


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Copyright (c) 2018 Nyameka Mankayi

ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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