Selling war : masculinity and British recruitment posters of World War I
Despite the emergence of historical scholarship concerning masculinity in the past two decades, historians have largely failed to examine masculinity during either of the two World Wars. This thesis examines the use of masculinity within a selection of posters that the British government's Parliamentary Recruitment Committee produced during their preconscription period in World War I (1914-1915). Using a visual template to deconstruct the designs and messages of the selected posters, the thesis contends that the posters incorporated familiar prewar masculine images and ideas in order to lure potential recruits into the British army. The posters' use of prewar masculine ideology also contributed to their idyllic presentation of war, which differed significantly from the actual experiences of British soldiers. In addition to poster analysis, this thesis examines how British boys became familiar with "militaristic masculinity" in the prewar period, as well as the modern poster and its prominent role within the PRC campaign.