During the Second World War, the hegemonic masculinity, that is, the dominant masculinity, resided with the Royal Air Force (RAF). Pilots epitomized what it meant to be a man in war due to their heroics in the Battle of Britain. Civilian masculinities therefore had to negotiate their identities to fit their new roles in society. The two types of civilian men that I mainly look at are men in the reserved occupations and conscientious objectors. I examine this question: how did cultural representations portrayed by the government affect the civilian men on the homefront? Furthermore, I explore how these men viewed the government’s policies. Finally, I investigate post-war depictions of civilian masculinity. To answer these inquires, I analyzed propaganda posters, films, interviews, and tv shows. In my research, I found that the government policies forced men to accept their subordinate masculine identity during the war. Civilian men, even in their support roles, still found ways to create a sense of normalcy, and built positive relationships with one another on the homefront. Post-war representations also have a better understanding of civilian men during the Second World War.


Roche, Jeff




European History | History of Gender | Labor History | Social History


masculinity, reserved occupations, conscientious objectors, Bevin Boys'

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2020 Savanna Hitlan