Document Type


Publication Date



Within masculinity scholarship, there is a gap about how masculinity carries over from a broad social context to an organizational context. This article explores the construction and capitalization of masculinity through a series of experiences in social fields such as the military and college, and the transfer of militaristic masculinity into the workplace. Drawing on grounded theory methods, we conducted in-depth interviews with 20 Korean men who completed their mandatory two-year military service and subsequently joined large corporations in Korea. We uncovered a four-phase model that depicts how Korean men’s masculinity is constructed during military service and transferred to their organizational positions characterizing them as warriors in suits. Informed by a Bourdieusian perspective, this study shows how masculinities are constructed, reinforced, and legitimatized by the structural influences of society, and how the masculinity becomes the desired image of men at work, which perpetuates the gender and power gaps among organizational members.

Copyright Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Lee, J.; Shirmohammadi, M.; Baumgartner, L.M.; Oh, J.; & Han, S.J. (2019). Warriors in Suits: A Bourdieusian Perspective on the Construction and Practice of Military Masculinity of Korean Men. Gender, Work & Organization, 26(10), 1467-1488.

which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1111/gwao.12358. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.