Mothers, Military, and Society


Price: $34.95

Page Count: 250

Publication Date: February 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77258-141-6

“Motherhood” and “military” are often viewed as dichotomous concepts, with the former symbolizing feminine ideals and expectations, and the latter suggesting masculine ideals and norms. Mothers, Military, and Society contributes to a growing body of research that disrupts this false dichotomy. This interdisciplinary and international volume explores the many ways in which mothers and the military converse, align, contest, and intersect in society. Through various chapters that include in-depth case studies, theoretical perspectives and personal narratives, this book offers insights into the complex relationship between motherhood and the military in ways that will engage both academic and non-academic readers alike.

“Mothers, Military, and Society contributes to limited scholarship on motherhood and war. This edited volume opens by usefully analyzing the various theoretical models offered to explain the relationship between motherhood and the military. This is an interdisciplinary collection containing empirical research (e.g. ethnographies and content analyses) and personal essays. The chapters cover mothers in the military, public discourse, and personal reflections on military service. Mothers, Military, and Society, is an insightful and often intimate examination of the relationship of motherhood to militarism.”

– Wendy M. Christensen, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sociology, William Paterson University


“This collection of essays brings new perspectives to military mothers from different countries like Pakistan and Israel as well as North America and different class experiences. Through personal experiences and their historical, cinematical and sociological analyses, real windows into real lives are opened. These windows provide fresh connections that make us go beyond mere militarization of motherhood discourses, helping us view motherhood as agency rather than a tool for those with power. Some of the articles are very dense this way and many are very easy to read, which can make the volume appealing to readers from different walks of life.”

– Elif E. Akşit, Ankara University, Political Science and Gender Studies



Introduction: Mothers, Military, and Society in Conversation

Sarah Cote Hampson, Udi Lebel, and Nancy Taber





Tropes of the U.S. Military Mother: A Feminist Analysis

Patricia Sotirin


Mothers, Martyrs, and Messages of Eternity in the Popular Culture of Pakistan

Anwar Shaheen and Abeerah Ali


Military Moms in the Spotlight: What Media Attention on Mothers in the U.S. Military Means for Public Policy Sarah Cote Hampson


Connecting the Past and Future through Contemporary Discourses of Motherhood and Militarism in Canada:

Bomb Girls and Continuum

Nancy Taber


Public Grief Is Maternal:

The Gendered Discourse of Israeli Military Bereavement Udi Lebel and Gal Hermoni




Mom Wore Combat Boots:

An Autoethnography of a Military Sociologist Morten Ender


Choosing Motherhood in the U.S. Air Force

Elle Kowal


“You Can’t Have a Baby in the Army!” and Other Myths of Moms in Military Service Naomi Mercer


Understanding War as Revealed to Me by My Son: (A Trilogy)

Beth Osnes


Notes on Contributors

Sarah Cote Hampson is an Assistant Professor of Public Law at the University of Washington
Tacoma. Her book, The Balance Gap: Working Mothers and the Limits of the Law (Stanford
2017), focuses on working mothers’ experiences with work/life balance policy in Academia and
the U.S. military.

Udi Lebel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ariel University; a researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University. His main Research Interests: Sociology of Trauma, Loss and Bereavement; Civil – Military Relations; Collective Memory and Commemoration; Security and Trauma's Communities. He is the author of Politics of Memory: the Israeli Underground's Struggle for Inclusion in the National Pantheon and Military Commemoralization (Routlege 2013) and co-editor of Yom Kippur War and the Reshaping of Israeli Civil-Military Relations (Lexington, 2015).

Nancy Taber is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Brock University. Her
research explores the ways in which learning, gender, and militarism interact in daily life,
popular culture, museums, academic institutions, and military organizations. Her publications
include Gendered militarism in Canada: Learning conformity and resistance (University of