Emotional and Aesthetic Labor of Finnish Military Officers





Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity, Organization & Management


This study analyzes the emotional and aesthetic labor of Finnish military officers. It examines the kinds of valuations officers attach to the notion of an ideal soldier. The meanings that officers give to these ideals are explored within the wider framework of post-Fordist new work. The ideal soldier is traditionally considered to be physically capable and strong, rational, and in control—features culturally coded as masculine. An analysis of 108 military officers’ writings and 12 interviews showed that while the traditional masculine ideal still exists, a vast variety of valuations are related to new work. The notion of the new ideal worker includes attributes, such as empathy, emotional intelligence, and social skills, which are culturally coded as feminine qualities. These feminine valuations may work to female officers’ advantage. However, despite fractures in traditional masculine ideals, there are still some deeply rooted gender stereotypes that work to female officers’ disadvantage.

Author Biography

Suvi Kouri, University of Jyväskylä

Doctoral researcher, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy. E-mail: suvi.kouri@gmail.com


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How to Cite

Kouri, S. (2021). Emotional and Aesthetic Labor of Finnish Military Officers. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies. https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.128596