Contradictory Consequences of Mandatory Conscription: The Case of Women Secretaries in the Israeli Military

TitleContradictory Consequences of Mandatory Conscription: The Case of Women Secretaries in the Israeli Military
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsSasson-Levy, Orna
JournalGender and Society
Volume21
Issue4
Start Page481
Pagination481-507
Date Published08/2007
Abstract

This article examines the implications of mandatory conscription for women by studying the experience of women soldiers who serve as secretaries in the Israeli military. The author argues that the military service of the secretaries is shaped by three organizing principles: an employment principle of cheap labor, a matrimonial principle of the office wife, and a hierarchy principle that shapes the secretaries as status symbols. Employing the theory of gendered organizations, the author maintains that each one of these organizing principles operates as a gendering and a power mechanism. The convergence of these three gender/power principles results in overgendering of these women and their military experience. This overgendering reflects gender discrimination and creates feelings of alienation and frustration. For them, military service is not an experience that articulates their citizenship or enhances feelings of national belonging but rather stands in opposition to the values and goals of the mandatory people's army by estranging them from the state and its major institution.

URLhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/27640988
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5723639083

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