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Militarism and Mothering

  • By: Melissa Finn
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The concept of militarism refers primarily to making war; the demarcation of enemies and allies; revolutionary struggle; conflagrations between states or factions within states; military buildup; arms development and deployment; conduct and discipline of military personnel; land, air, and sea combat; the deployment of fighters into a war front; idealized, and masculine ownership of soldier courage; valorization of war in the political realm; and the influential power of the abstractions and euphemisms of war employed by defense analysts. At the forefront of most depictions of militarism, war, and mothering is the mater dolorosa (“mother of sorrows”). The mater dolorosa is the woman who mourns over the bodies of children killed by war, endures hunger so her children can eat, finds her home destroyed and rebuilds ...

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