Men in reserve focuses on working class civilian men, a group who, as a result of working in reserved occupations, were exempt from enlistment in the armed forces. It explores how they articulated their wartime experiences and how they positioned themselves in relation to the hegemonic discourse of military masculinity.
A range of material sources are used, including fifty six newly conducted oral history interviews, as well as autobiographies, visual sources and existing archived interviews. The book considers the range of masculine identities circulating amongst civilian male workers during the war and investigates the extent to which reserved workers draw upon these identities when recalling their wartime selves. It is argued that the Second World War was capable of challenging civilian masculinities, positioning the civilian man below that of the 'soldier hero' while, simultaneously, reinforcing them by bolstering the capacity to provide and to earn high wages, both of which were key markers of masculinity. Masculinity was also validated in wartime through the exposure of men to long exhausting working hours and to heightened risks in more dangerous labour processes and work environments. Chapters explore the changing nature and meaning of reserved status, articulations of masculinity, the lived experience of work and leisure of reserved men in wartime, bodies at work (health, welfare and safety) and the memorialisation of reserved men.
Men in reserve will be of interest to students and researchers working in the fields of social and cultural history, labour history, gender history, gender studies and cultural studies.
|Publisher:||Manchester University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Juliette Pattinson is Reader in Modern History at the University of Kent
Arthur McIvor is Professor in Social History and Director of the Scottish Oral History Centre at the University of Strathclyde
Linsey Robb is Senior Lecturer in History at Teesside University
Table of Contents
1. Men in reserve: recovering the civilian man
2. Raising an 'industrial army': the policy of reservation in the First and Second
3. 'Making a contribution to the war effort': reactions to reserved status,
masculinity and the military
4. Grafters not shirkers: reserved men at work
5. Bodies on the line: risk, health and manliness
6. Outside the factory gates: reserved life on the home front
7. Forgotten: the missing legacy of Britain's reserved occupations