Heal and Serve

Soviet Military Doctors “Doing Masculinity” during the Afghan War (1979–1989)

in Aspasia
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  • 1 Department of History, University of Basel, Switzerland

The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan can be seen as a laboratory for examining the Soviet construction of masculinity during the last decade of the USSR. Focusing on male Soviet military doctors as individuals, this article aims to present how these doctors constructed their virile presentation of self in a war situation and how they managed their position within the military community. Taking a pragmatic historical approach, the article considers the doctors through their interactions with both women and men, examining gendered practices such as “protecting weak people,” “asserting authority,” “expressing emotions (or not),” and “impressing others.” It offers a case study for the analysis of one of the many forms of Soviet military masculinity under late socialism and its place in Soviet society.

Aspasia

The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History

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