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Unit information: The Military in Everyday Life in 2015/16

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Unit name The Military in Everyday Life
Unit code POLI31382
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Higate
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The impact of military ideology on everyday life in recent years has been of interest to scholars of International Relations. Militarized or militarist values, attitudes or beliefs are expressed by a wide range of actors including individuals, communities or institutions. This complex of militarist beliefs or 'framings' are characterised by a broad adherence to the following: that armed force is the ultimate way in which to resolve tension; that human nature is prone to conflict; that having enemies is a natural condition; that hierarchical relations produce effective action and that a state without a military is naive, scarcely modern and barely legitimate. This unit investigates militarization through both its theoretical and substantive dimensions. The following questions are addressed. How might we make sense of the ways that the geopolitical articulates with the everyday in respect of these values? What impact do they have on education, the media and popular culture? What is the role of gender in these processes? What are the broader impacts of militarization on societies more generally?


  • To analyse the process by which everyday life can be militarized;
  • To examine the ways in which the geopolitical articulates with the everyday;
  • To analyse the diverse substantive spheres through which militarization is played-out;
  • To develop a critical awareness of the influence of military ideology on individuals, communities and institutions.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the unit the student will have developed the following:

  1. an understanding of the concepts of militarism and militarisation
  2. an ability to engage in scholarly seminar discussion on related topics.
  3. an ability to deliver a scholarly seminar presentation on an aspect militarisation and militarism.
  4. an ability to write in a scholarly way about militarisation and militarism.

Teaching Information

3hr seminar

Assessment Information

Formative assessment will be by presentation and 1 hour mock exam.

Summative assessment will be 2 hour unseen written exam (100%)

Assess the achievement of learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3

Reading and References

  • Enloe, C. (2007) Globalization and Militarism. Lanham: Rowman Littlefield
  • Shaw, M. (1991) Post Military Society. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Turse, N. (2008) The Complex: How the Military Invades our Everyday Lives. London: Macmillan/Metropolitan Books.
  • Lutz, C. (2001) Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Moon, K. (1997) Sex among Allies: Military prostitution in US-Korea relations. New York: Columbia University Press.