Upgraded Masculinity: A Gendered Analysis of the Debriefing in the Israeli Air Force

Varda Wasserman, Ilan Dayan, Eyal Ben-Ari

نتاج البحث: نشر في مجلةمقالةمراجعة النظراء

ملخص

This article examines the importation of new gender ideals into a highly masculine organization through top-down and bottom-up processes. We analyze how a dominant group of men undo and redo gender to reproduce their supremacy and create a new, “improved” form of masculinity. Based on qualitative research on the practice of debriefing in the Israel Air Force, we explore how new practices of masculinity are incorporated into a hegemonic masculinity by introducing so-called “soft” organizational practices and thus constructing a new form of “upgraded” masculinity. We show that pilots are involved in two continual and dialectical processes of performing masculinity. The first includes top-down practices neutralizing opportunities to execute exaggerated masculine performances, including new technologies allowing recording and documenting of all flights, a safety discourse emphasizing the protection of human life, and organizational learning based on self- and group critiques aimed at improved performance. The second, a bottom-up process enacted by pilots, is aimed at restoring and mobilizing masculinity and includes rationalized professionalism, competitiveness, and patronizing. Taken together, these constitute a hybrid, “upgraded” masculinity where “soft” characteristics are appropriated by men to reinforce a privileged status and reproduce their dominance within and outside the military. Our case study focuses on the debriefing, a process in which air teams formally reflect on their performance after a particular task/event to improve it.

اللغة الأصليةالإنجليزيّة
الصفحات (من إلى)228-251
عدد الصفحات24
دوريةGender and Society
مستوى الصوت32
رقم الإصدار2
المعرِّفات الرقمية للأشياء
حالة النشرنُشِر - 1 أبريل 2018

ملاحظة ببليوغرافية

Funding Information:
This article examines the importation of new gender ideals into a highly masculine organization through top-down and bottom-up processes. We analyze how a dominant group of men undo and redo gender to reproduce their supremacy and create a new, “improved” form of masculinity. Based on qualitative research on the practice of debriefing in the Israel air Force, we explore how new practices of masculinity are incorporated into a hegemonic masculinity by introducing so-called “soft” organizational practices and thus constructing a new form of “upgraded” masculinity. We show that pilots are involved in two continual and dialectical processes of performing masculinity. The first includes top-down practices neutralizing opportunities to execute exaggerated masculine performances, including new technologies allowing recording and documenting of all flights, a safety discourse emphasizing the protection of human life, and organizational learning based on self-and group critiques aimed at improved performance. The second, a bottom-up process enacted by pilots, is aimed at restoring and mobilizing masculinity and includes rationalized professionalism, competitiveness, and patronizing. Taken together, these constitute a hybrid, “upgraded” masculinity where “soft” characteristics are appropriated by men to reinforce a privileged status and reproduce their dominance within and AuThORS’ NOTE: support for this study was provided by the research authority of the Open University. The authors wish to thank yagil levy, Itzhak Berkovich, merav Perez, michal Frenkel, and the anonymous reviewers for extremely helpful comments and suggestions. We also thank stream participants of the Gender, Work and Organization 2016 in Keele for the opportunity to present these ideas and the useful conversations that followed. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Varda Wasserman, The Open University of Israel, 1 University road, raanana, Israel; e-mail: vardawa@openu.ac.il

RAMBI publications

  • !!rambi
  • Israel -- Tseva haganah le-Yiśraʼel -- Ḥel ha-aṿir
  • Masculinity -- Israel
  • Fighter pilots -- Israel

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