Military Rock: a mis-anthropology

Stanton, Gareth. 1996. Military Rock: a mis-anthropology. Cultural Studies, 10(2), pp. 270-287. ISSN 0950-2386 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Using ethnographic fieldwork as a basic building block, in combination with historical detail and insight from sociology, this article seeks to interrogate the military presence in the British colony of Gibraltar. In doing so it exposes the relationship between the military and Empire and asks important questions about the construction of ‘Britishness’.

Little Islands are all huge prisons: one cannot look at the sea without wishing for the wings of a swallow.
(Richard Burton, quoted in Brodie, 1974: 255)

… it was decided in 1830 to classify Gibraltar as a colony and give it a colonial administration under the Governor. So as to make it clear, however, that it was still primarily a fortress, and to ensure that military requirements took precedence over civilian interests, it was laid down that the Governor should always be a serving soldier.
(Ebsworth, 1952: 109)

A man one degree removed from idiocy … may make a distinguished soldier.
(Thackeray, quoted in Dixon, 1976: 173)

This garrison is one of the strictest in the world.
(Ford, 1845[1966]: 508)

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



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Date Deposited:

10 Nov 2015 15:12

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 15:11

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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