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Fighting for public health: The promotion of desirable bodies in interactive military marketing

Journal article
Authors Sanna Strand
Published in Media, War and Conflict
ISSN 1750-6352
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Global Studies
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1177/17506352198...
Keywords body, critical military studies, military fitness, public relations, the Swedish Armed Forces
Subject categories Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified, Gender Studies

Abstract

In 2016, the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) launched a digital Sports Club and began providing the public with fitness programmes and wellness advice. The SAF were now, in their words, ‘fighting for a healthier Sweden’. By taking ‘the Club’ as its point of departure, this article contributes to emerging literature on military public relations in general, and digital outreach in particular. It illustrates how interactive, digital technologies enable armed forces to position themselves as both visible and useful in the everyday lives of a diversity of citizens. This presence carries considerable potential for military institutions seeking to recruit and retain soldiers and supporters for war preparations and deployments. In addition, by showing how the Club renders the SAF appealing and accessible through gendered language and imagery, which partly challenges ideas of muscular, military masculinity, this article contributes knowledge about the ways in which armed forces are (re)gendered in military marketing.

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