Oct 1, 2004
Armed Forces & Society
Does a blurring of the boundaries between civil society and the military lead to a redefinition of gender roles? This article examines the social meaning of the practices and rhetoric of parenthood in Israel through the prism of parents’ increasing intervention and involvement in the army between 1982 and 1995. The claim is made that parenthood practices have become a reconstituting mechanism of the gendered division of roles. More specifically, the article argues that the separation between military and family, and between public and private-domestic, remains unchanged despite family involvement in the military. The basic interpreting frames in military-family relations are constructed in terms of the family’s traditionally defined role. Paradoxically, the entrance of the family into the public sphere reiterates and reinforces basic assumptions about the nature of the family and its discursive boundaries, along with women’s taken-for-granted status in the private-domestic sphere, and men’s activities as representing the public sphere.