Constructing Soldiers from Boys in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
2013 (English)In: Men and Masculinities, ISSN 1097-184X, E-ISSN 1552-6828, Vol. 16, no 2, 203-227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This study is part of an ethnography focusing on war rape in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where child soldiers are both victims and perpetrators of violence. Twelve ex-child soldier boys, aged thirteen to eighteen years, from a reintegration facility were interviewed about their soldiering experiences and their perspectives on sexual violence. Transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Conceptual frameworks of militarized masculine identity and gender-based violence guided the process. Results revealed the systematic and violent construction of children into soldiers, inculcating a "militarized masculinity"; a rigid set of stereotypical hypermasculinized behaviors promoting dominance by violating, sexually and otherwise, the subordinate "other." This was achieved through terrorizing/coercing, use of indigenous preparations, substance abuse, and forbidden reflection. This article presents a more contextualized complex view of the violent perpetrator whose behaviors are a manifestation of the modes and mechanisms in which society has constructed/reconstructed gender, ethnicity, and class, and the power dynamics therein.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 16, no 2, 203-227 p.
sub-Saharan Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), ethnography, child soldiers, militarized masculinity, sexual violence, war, gender
Social Sciences Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-202911DOI: 10.1177/1097184X12470113ISI: 000319223300004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-202911DiVA: diva2:634581
Conference on In Relation to What - Critical Gender Studies on Masculinities and Relationality, 18-20 JAN, 2012, Uppsala, SWEDEN