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Gender and Private Security in Global Politics$
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Maya Eichler

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199364374

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199364374.001.0001

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(Re)Producing American Soldiers in an Age of Empire

(Re)Producing American Soldiers in an Age of Empire

(p.75) Chapter 4 (Re)Producing American Soldiers in an Age of Empire
Gender and Private Security in Global Politics

Isabelle V. Barker

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the division of reproductive labor on US military bases in Iraq following “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Due in part to the privatization of services associated with reproductive labor, the vast majority of vital support service labor came to be outsourced and performed by men migrating from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Nepal, and Pakistan. This division builds on a long tradition of gendered narratives framing military service. The displacement of reproductive labor, which remains coded as effeminate, onto poor migrant men of color serves to reinforce the aggressive masculine version of American soldiering. Echoing earlier colonizer–colonized relations, this division of labor in turn bolsters the increasingly imperial posture that the United States has assumed globally since the outset of the twenty-first century.

Keywords:   private military and security companies, PMSCs, social reproduction, United States, military, privatization, gender, migration, neocolonialism, global south, TCNs

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