Shadows of militarism: an ethnography of trauma and resistance among soldiers and veterans in post-9/11 USA.

Kohner, Zara Ruby Danielle (2016) Shadows of militarism: an ethnography of trauma and resistance among soldiers and veterans in post-9/11 USA. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


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.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Militarism, trauma, resistance, betrayal, PTSD, military culture, soldiers, veterans.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Pickering, Dr. Lucy and Kay, Prof. Rebecca and Hume, Dr. Mo
Date of Award: 2016
Embargo Date: 8 June 2019
Depositing User: Dr Poppy Kohner
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7417
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2016 08:23
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2016 08:50

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