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    Kurdish women

Serving the army as secretaries: intersectionality,multi-level contract and subjective experienceof citizenship

With the growing elusiveness of the state apparatus in late modernity, militaryservice is one of the last institutions to be clearly identified with the state, itsideologies and its policies. Therefore, negotiations between the military and itsrecruits produce acting subjects of citizenship with long-lasting consequences.Arguing that these negotiations are regulated by multi-level (civic, group, andindividual)contracts,weexplorethevariousmeaningsthatthesecontractsobtainattheintersectionalityofgender,class,andethnicity;andexaminehowtheyshapethesubjective experience of soldierhood and citizenship.More particularly,we analysethe meaning of military service in the retrospective life stories of Israeli Jewishwomen from various ethno-class backgrounds who served as army secretaries – alow-status, feminine gender-typed occupation within a hyper-masculine organiza-tion. Findings reveal that for women of the lower class, the organizing culturalschema of the multi-level contract is that of achieving respectability throughmilitary service,which means being included in the national collective.Conversely,formiddle-classwomen,itisthesenseofentitlementthatshapestheircontractwiththe military,which they expect to signify and maintain their privileged status.Thus,while for the lower class, the multi-level contract is about inclusion within the boundaries of the national collective,for the dominant groups,this contract is about reproducing social class hierarchies within national boundaries

In thiscontext, compulsory military service is one of the main mechanisms throughwhich the state constitutes obedient and committed citizens.Yet force of law is not enough to maintain this commitment; the military must respond to citizens’ needs, interests, and aspirations in order to obtain the latters’ compliance.

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