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Title: Shadows of militarism : an ethnography of trauma and resistance among soldiers and veterans in post-9/11 USA
Author: Kohner, Zara Ruby Danielle
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 1488
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis critically examines the military disciplining of trauma through a detailed ethnographic study of post-9/11 lower-enlisted soldiers and veterans in the U.S. who have links to a national movement of resistance to, and healing from, militarism. Drawing on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork at two G.I. coffeehouses and with the post-9/11 veteran anti-militarism movement in U.S., it analyses the journey of joining the military, becoming a soldier, leaving the military and veteran identities. It explores militarism and military power as a cultural process which reproduces and conceals itself within normative conceptions of the everyday, and military trauma as a site of contested power and resistance. In doing so, this research addresses an urgent need to critically engage with military trauma as a means to challenge normalised discourses of militarism. This research reveals a disjuncture between the imagined and lived reality of military identities in the post-9/11 era. It explores the politics of recognition of veterans’ public and private lives, their contested identities, and their constrained relationship to the state. It argues that veterans are silenced and their identities reduced to symbolic tools in a public military imaginary which constructs military trauma into politically manageable categories, while disciplining and silencing the nation from critically examining war and militarism. In this way, this thesis argues that veterans serve a vital function in U.S. society by absorbing and containing the violence of the state, which then becomes unspeakable, unhearable, and inescapable. This thesis shows how a small number of soldiers and veterans are pushing back against this narrative. In sum, this thesis seeks to challenge the disciplinary effects of militarism upon trauma and support veteran voices to speak their own truths.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology