Disrupting Social Constructions in the Profession of Arms

  • Vanessa BrownEmail author
  • Al Okros


As highlighted in other chapters, the military profession is subject to both internal and external pressures to evolve. This chapter will examine key issues in two parts. The first portion reviews the factors that are generating these pressures with consideration of four dimensions. The first comes from the integration of gender perspectives arising from endorsement of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda. The second arises from the requirements to address issues of sexual harassment within the military or, more broadly, to meet the expectations of Canadian society about how those in uniform at treated. The third results from the Canadian military aspirations to implement an inclusive diversity strategy that calls for changes in key aspects of professional identity and professional functioning. The second portion of this chapter presents observations by the authors of the consequences of exposing mid-level career officers with concepts that serve to challenge the received professional worldview. The primary implication offered is that these leaders are being encouraged to reconsider key aspects of social construction particularly regarding power, social privilege and the reproduction of the identity, norms, values and beliefs that underpin the military ethos.


Profession of arms Professional military education Gender perspectives Social construction Identity Power Social privilege Women, peace, and security 


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Copyright information

© Canadian Government 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and SecurityDepartment of National DefenceTorontoCanada

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