How Good Soldiers Become-with Their Uniforms: An Exploration of Uniformity in Practice

Bidragets oversatte titel: Hvordan gode soldater bliver til med deres uniform. En undersøgelse af uniformitet i praksis

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Resumé

This article examines the role of materiality in the disciplining of military subjects by taking a closer look at the practical unfolding of an overall goal of uniformity for conscripted soldiers. While much research on the subject of military uniforms has revolved around descriptive and historical mappings, this article explores the role of this specific material object in the becoming of good soldiers. This way, a productive as well as a critical perspective is applied to the subject, which is analyzed based on an ethnographic fieldwork in the Danish army.
Wearing the uniform implies certain practices, ways of talking and presenting yourself. Yet, as the uniform comes to matter in different ways through practice, conscripts are required to read and adapt to the mattering of the uniform to be recognizable as good soldiers. Through a specific attention to the mundane and embodied routines of everyday life amongst conscripted soldiers, the article argues that the uniform enables the disciplining of not only military subjects but also constitutes and disciplines a collective self, made up by conscripts bound together through uniformity. However, the belief that this uniformity conceals individuality and gender is challenged and related to questions of recognition, hereby ascribing agency to the uniform in the becoming of good soldiers. The overall argument in the article is that the materiality of the uniform takes part in performing the military subject.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEthnologia Scandinavica
Vol/bind48
Sider (fra-til)7-25
Antal sider19
ISSN0348-9698
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa

Citer dette

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title = "How Good Soldiers Become-with Their Uniforms: An Exploration of Uniformity in Practice",
abstract = "This article examines the role of materiality in the disciplining of military subjects by taking a closer look at the practical unfolding of an overall goal of uniformity for conscripted soldiers. While much research on the subject of military uniforms has revolved around descriptive and historical mappings, this article explores the role of this specific material object in the becoming of good soldiers. This way, a productive as well as a critical perspective is applied to the subject, which is analyzed based on an ethnographic fieldwork in the Danish army.Wearing the uniform implies certain practices, ways of talking and presenting yourself. Yet, as the uniform comes to matter in different ways through practice, conscripts are required to read and adapt to the mattering of the uniform to be recognizable as good soldiers. Through a specific attention to the mundane and embodied routines of everyday life amongst conscripted soldiers, the article argues that the uniform enables the disciplining of not only military subjects but also constitutes and disciplines a collective self, made up by conscripts bound together through uniformity. However, the belief that this uniformity conceals individuality and gender is challenged and related to questions of recognition, hereby ascribing agency to the uniform in the becoming of good soldiers. The overall argument in the article is that the materiality of the uniform takes part in performing the military subject.",
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How Good Soldiers Become-with Their Uniforms : An Exploration of Uniformity in Practice. / Sløk-Andersen, Beate.

I: Ethnologia Scandinavica, Bind 48, 2018, s. 7-25.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - How Good Soldiers Become-with Their Uniforms

T2 - An Exploration of Uniformity in Practice

AU - Sløk-Andersen, Beate

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AB - This article examines the role of materiality in the disciplining of military subjects by taking a closer look at the practical unfolding of an overall goal of uniformity for conscripted soldiers. While much research on the subject of military uniforms has revolved around descriptive and historical mappings, this article explores the role of this specific material object in the becoming of good soldiers. This way, a productive as well as a critical perspective is applied to the subject, which is analyzed based on an ethnographic fieldwork in the Danish army.Wearing the uniform implies certain practices, ways of talking and presenting yourself. Yet, as the uniform comes to matter in different ways through practice, conscripts are required to read and adapt to the mattering of the uniform to be recognizable as good soldiers. Through a specific attention to the mundane and embodied routines of everyday life amongst conscripted soldiers, the article argues that the uniform enables the disciplining of not only military subjects but also constitutes and disciplines a collective self, made up by conscripts bound together through uniformity. However, the belief that this uniformity conceals individuality and gender is challenged and related to questions of recognition, hereby ascribing agency to the uniform in the becoming of good soldiers. The overall argument in the article is that the materiality of the uniform takes part in performing the military subject.

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EP - 25

JO - Ethnologia Scandinavica

JF - Ethnologia Scandinavica

SN - 0348-9698

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