Chapter 4 provides background material on the Navy’s culture and recruiting history, with some emphasis on the role of race, before presenting an analysis of the recruiting advertisements. Navy recruiting appeals have tended to shift back and forth between a focus on career and benefits—first presented in terms of masculine pride in work that is physically and mentally challenging and later shifting to an emphasis on professional careers, personal success, and advanced technology, aligning the Navy with the high-status careers of the information age and its emerging dominant models of masculinity—and a focus on adventure and the traditional benefits of life at sea, like excitement, challenge, and travel. The chapter also gives a brief history of women in the Navy and examines their portrayal in recruiting materials. While recruiting materials have made token references to female sailors, women often represent the pleasures of travel and shore leave.
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