IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Development of British Military Masculinities through Symbolic Resources


  • Hannah C Lambert

    (Geary Institute, University College Dublin)


Within military culture there is a protected version of masculinity. The theory of symbolic resources (Zittoun, Duveen, Gillespie, Ivinson & Psaltis, 2003) recognises that people are positioned within different symbolic streams in the socio-cultural world, in which they can be displaced or can relocate themselves (Benson, 2001; Duveen, 2001). So an individual entering the military is relocating him or herself from a civilian socio-cultural world to a military one. 29 semi-structured individual interviews and three focus groups (each comprising three individuals) with male and female military personnel in Britain were conducted. Participants included Royal Marine, Army and Royal Air Force personnel and were of a variety of ranks. In accordance with the theory of symbolic resources, the unit of analysis for psychological development is the unit rupture-irruption of certainty-transition. This implies a process that leads to a new form of stability. This process is that which military personnel undertake in order for that which is uncertain and unfamiliar when they begin their training to become certain and familiar. Through focusing on the rupture that takes place during the training phase within an individual’s military career, one can explore how through symbolic resources, military masculinities develop.

Suggested Citation

  • Hannah C Lambert, 2007. "The Development of British Military Masculinities through Symbolic Resources," Working Papers 200711, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200711

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200711. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Geary Tech). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.