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Moffies in the military: race/ethnicity, gender and (homo)sexuality in the South African army during apartheid

Grant number: 19/24233-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): January 04, 2021
Effective date (End): July 03, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal researcher:Laura Moutinho
Grantee:Phillip Willians Leite
Supervisor abroad: Bernard Dubbeld
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Stellenbosch University, South Africa  
Associated to the scholarship:19/04296-8 - Moffies in the military: race/ethnicity, gender and (homo)sexuality in the South African Army during apartheid, BP.MS


The literature on homosexuality in the South African Defence Force (SADF) during the apartheid regime is meager and focuses mostly on interpersonal and institutional violence to which moffies (a derogative word in Afrikaner that designates effeminate men and/or homosexuals) were subjected in the institution. Nevertheless, based on fieldwork conducted in Stellenbosch, South Africa, among White men, self-identified as homosexuals, former SADF recruits and in their 50-60's, this project formulates the hypothesis that the experience of homosexuality in the SADF was more complex than it seems at first glance. The conversations with these men about their memories of the daily life in the army seems to indicate that, in some cases, individuals were able to experience situations and elaborate a construction of their selves not only in agreement, but also in negotiation and subversion of norms based on social markers of difference (such as race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality) connected to the Afrikaner nationalist project. Based on this assumption, this project aims to investigate 1) the relations between Afrikaner nationalism and homosexuality in intersection with gender, race and other social markers of difference and 2) the process of subjectivation of the individuals as homosexuals in the armed forces. (AU)

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