Representation versus experience
Life as a ‘martial race’ soldier
in Martial races
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This chapter charts the dissonances and harmonies between the ideology of martial races and the lives of the people who were supposed to embody it. It explains how to 'account for the often asymmetrical relationship' between martial race representation and soldiers' experience. Thus, the chapter begins with the untold stories effaced by martial race discourse. The stories chart massive social and economic change and/or poverty in the Highlands, Punjab and Nepal, and highlight the 'push' factors that led individual men to enlist in 'martial race' regiments. The chapter focuses on the consequences of martial race discourse extended to the larger regional cultures of the Highlands, the Punjab and Nepal. It considers Highland, Sikh and Gurkha soldiers together and in light of the same set of problems, none of these groups can be conflated with the others.

Martial races

The Military, Race and Masculinity in British Imperial Culture, 1857–1914




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