Culture and the Soldier
248 pages, 6 x 9
14 charts, 9 tables
Release Date:15 Apr 2020
Release Date:01 Oct 2019
Release Date:01 Oct 2019
Release Date:01 Oct 2019

Culture and the Soldier

Identities, Values, and Norms in Military Engagements

UBC Press

Countries have instituted polices to make their armed forces more inclusive, and soldiers now undergo cultural awareness training before they see active duty. Policy makers and military organizations agree that culture is important. But what does “culture” mean in practice, and how is it important? Drawing on case studies from Europe and North America, Culture and the Soldier answers these questions by examining how culture – defined as reproduced identities, values, and norms – both shapes the military and can be wielded by it. In Part 1, scholars and practitioners show how culture, as a force, can influence how soldiers remember battle and adjust to civilian life; how women are treated within the ranks; and how causalities are viewed and treated inside and outside the military. In Part 2, they show how culture, as a factor, can be leveraged by militaries in a range of ways, from preventing cultural dislocation among soldiers in Afghanistan to mounting propaganda campaigns in support of totalitarian regimes. By bringing to light the ways in which culture is influencing military organizations and modern combat, this volume offers provocative insights into how cultural awareness and culture can be deployed to improve armed forces at home and in military engagements abroad

This book will appeal to students and scholars of military culture, strategic studies, and security policy.

RELATED TOPICS: History, Military History
Strategic and military culture shape how soldiers operate, but culture is also a tool militaries employ to gain advantage on the battlefield. This edited volume brings together a fascinating and insightful collection of essays, often presenting fresh empirical material on both themes. Bastian Giegerich, director of Defence and Military Analysis, International Institute for Strategic Studies

H. Christian Breede is an assistant professor of political science and associate chair of the Public Administration program at the Royal Military College of Canada. He is coeditor (with Stéfanie von Hlatky) of Going to War? Trends in Military Interventions, author of The Idea of Failed States, and has operational experience with the Canadian army in Haiti and Afghanistan. He is cross-appointed with the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University and is also the deputy director of its Centre for International and Defence Policy.

Contributors: Stéphanie A.H. Bélanger, Andy Belyea, Vanessa Brown, Pierre Jolicoeur, Frédéric Labarre, Shaohan Lin, Iryna Lysychkina, James R. McKay, Alan Okros, Robert A. Rubinstein, Joel J. Sokolsky, Stéfanie von Hlatky, Corri Zoli.

Preface / H. Christian Breede

1 Introduction: The Culture Puzzle / H. Christian Breede

Part 1: Culture as a Force on the Military

2 Two (War) Solitudes: Anglophone and Francophone Shaping of War in Canada / Stéphanie A.H. Bélanger

3 Dancing around Gender: Changing Identity in Canada’s Post-Deschamps Military / Vanessa Brown and Alan Okros

4 Shaped by Loss: Culture and Casualties in Canada / James R. McKay

Part 2: Culture as a Factor in Military Operations

5 The Sources of Nonlinear Warfare: Media Manipulation and the Cultivation of Fear / Pierre Jolicoeur and Frédéric Labarre

6 A Secure Impression: Using Image as a Strategic Communication Tool / Iryna Lysychkina

7 Military Culture and Humanitarian Actions: Short-Term Gains and Long-Term Losses / Robert A. Rubinstein and Corri Zoli

8 Connected and Alone: Cultural Dislocation as Trauma / Andrew Belyea

9 Schoolhouses and COCOMs: Educating and Cultivating the American-Led International Fraternity of the Uniform / Joel J. Sokolsky and Shaohan Lin

10 Taking It SLO: Leveraging Local Support during Military Engagements / H. Christian Breede

11 Conclusion: Analytical Challenges Linked to Military Culture in Multinational Settings / Stéfanie von Hlatky


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