Women in War

Women in War : The Micro-processes of Mobilization in El Salvador

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Waging war has historically been an almost exclusively male endeavor. Yet, over the past several decades women have joined insurgent armies in significant and surprising numbers. Why do women become guerrilla insurgents? What experiences do they have in guerrilla armies? And what happens to these women when the fighting ends?

Women in War answers these questions while providing a rare look at guerrilla life from the viewpoint of rank-and-file participants. From 230 in-depth interviews with men and women guerrillas, guerrilla supporters, and non-participants in rural El Salvador, Jocelyn Viterna investigates why some women were able to channel their wartime actions into post-war gains, and how those patterns differ from the benefits that accrued to men. By accounting for these variations, Viterna helps
resolve debates about the effects of war on women, and by extension, develops our nascent understanding of the effects of women combatants on warfare, political violence, and gender systems.

Women in War also develops a new model for investigating micro-level mobilization processes that has applications to many movement settings. Micro-level mobilization processes are often ignored in the social movement literature in favor of more macro- and meso-level analyses. Yet individuals who share the same macro-level context, and who are embedded in the same meso-level networks, often have strikingly different mobilization experiences. Only a portion are ever moved to activism,
and those who do mobilize vary according to which paths they follow to mobilization, what skills and social ties they forge through participation, and whether they continue their political activism after the movement ends. By examining these individual variations, a micro theory of mobilization can extend the
findings of macro- and meso-level analyses, and improve our understanding of how social movements begin, why they endure, and whether they change the societies they target.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 21mm | 408g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199843651
  • 9780199843657

Table of contents

Preface ; Chapter 1: Women in War ; Chapter 2: Setting the Stage ; Chapter 3: Micro-Level Processes of Mobilization ; Chapter 4: Recruiting a Guerrilla Army ; Chapter 5: Joining the Guerrillas ; Chapter 6: Ranking the File ; Chapter 7: Regulating Romance and Reproduction ; Chapter 8: Demobilization, Remobilization, and Retrenchment ; Chapter 9: Gender, Violence, and the Micro-Level Processes of Mobilization ; Appendices ; Notes ; Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

Women in War is exemplary scholarship, full of the type of novel observations that come only from extensive time in the field and years of poring over data. It will undoubtedly set the agenda for some time to come, for research into women's participation in resistance movements and its consequences. * David Smilde, Social Forces * an important contribution to the study of gender, violence, and political mobilization ... Highly recommended. * CHOICE *
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About Jocelyn Viterna

Jocelyn Viterna is Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University.
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Rating details

26 ratings
4.26 out of 5 stars
5 35% (9)
4 58% (15)
3 8% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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