This textbook introduces the reader to the field of military sociology through narrative reviews of selected key studies in the discipline.
The book provides a guided introduction. In each chapter, the authors set the stage and then immerse the reader in Spotlights – that is, descriptions of essential studies that inform the discipline of military sociology. The goal is to afford readers a ready pathway into how sociologists and social scientists have thought about topics in the study of the military and war.
Topics covered in the book include:
- What is military sociology? What does it have to offer in understanding armed forces, wars, and societies?
- What basic tools are needed to ply sociological, or more broadly, social science perspectives for studying war and the military?
- What are the bio-social bases of war? What does the spectrum of such societally organized violence look like?
- How do societies raise and maintain formal militaries? What are variations in their social composition and in the profiles of civil–military relations?
- How and why is military organization and war changing so dramatically in the 21st-century? What does the future hold?
This book will be of great interest to students of military sociology, the armed forces and society, peace studies, and international relations.
1. The Advent of a Field
2. Sociology and Military Sociology
3. Biological and Cultural bases of Warfare
4. The Military as a Bureaucracy and a Profession
5. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines (and Terrorists): Who Fights and Why They Fight
6. Race and Ethnicity in Society and the Military
7. Gender and Sexuality in Society and the Military
8. Spectrum of Conflict: "Big" Wars
9. Spectrum of Conflict: "Small" Wars
10. The Spectrum of Conflict: "New" Wars
11. Military Families
12. Veterans and Veterans’ Issues
13. Parting Thoughts: What May Lie Ahead
This book by renowned scholars Wilbur Scott, Karin de Angelis and David Segal is a more than welcome contribution to the field of military sociology. In times when international affairs have put the armed forces center-stage again, this is a book with a wealth of empirical studies and relevant insights. It will turn out to be a must-read, not only for (student-)officers throughout the world, but for everyone interested in international relations and the role of the military therein.’
Joseph Soeters, Netherlands Defense Academy and Tilburg University
'A timely and long overdue textbook focused on applying social scientific thinking to military problem sets. This book will prove useful for military professionals who want to understand the utility that social science brings to the profession of arms and will provide the motivated student a foundational set of tools to better account for the socio-cultural complexities of 21st century competition and Conflict.'
Lt Col Matthew Linford, USAF, Director, USAF Information Operations Training
'Military Sociology is a path-breaking textbook examining the proposition that a soldier is first and foremost a social being. The authors explore various dimensions of that assertion, examining military cultures and service cultures, and their intersection with factors such as race and sex, with additional examination of military families and veterans. Their spotlighting of seminal texts provides a terrific pedagogical springboard. Highly recommended.'
Valerie M. Hudson, Bush School of Government, Texas A&M University, U.S.A.
‘This volume provides a tsunami of intellectual waves for scholars and students to surf their way across the shore that is military sociology and the sociology war. Not since 1965 has such a gnarly pipeline of smart studies been compiled, synthesized, and presented into such efficient brilliance. This compendium of knowledge reveals the oft invisible institution that is the armed forces in the United States and other countries around the world.’
Morten G. Ender, United States Military Academy, West Point
‘Now more than ever, militaries are coming into focus as the great unknown in social and political thought. Due to long-standing disciplinary neglect across the social sciences as well as growing remoteness of military lifeworlds and practices from mainstream social life, the agency of militaries in shaping their social and political environments has been obscured. This excellent collection of important works demonstrates that below the surface, scholars have already laid the groundwork for a resurgence in military sociology. With this book as guide, the next generation with have a big advantage in re-situating the military as among the most defining institutions of our time.'
Thomas Crosbie, Royal Danish Defence College