The Women, Peace, and Security Norms as seen by Norwegian Male Officers
Keywords:Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity, Identity, Meaning & Culture
This article explores how male officers in the Norwegian Armed Forces (NAF) understand the relevance of the global Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) norms in their conceptualizations of security work. The study is based on in-depth interviews with 13 Norwegian male officers, draws on a discourse theoretical framework, and feeds into scholarly discussions on security, gender, and diversity. The findings indicate that the WPS norms are seen primarily as tools for improving military overseas operations, and further, that gender equality is seen as a ‘natural’ part of Norwegian identity, including the professional identities of military personnel in the NAF. WPS norms are therefore perceived as less relevant at home than abroad. We argue that this is because the attitudes toward gender issues that the officers regard as ‘natural’ interact with other gender roles and cultures in overseas operations, and therefore pertain to distant ‘others’ more than to the ‘self ’.
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