بررسی ابهامات از مردسالاری در حساب های استرس های روحی روانی در ارتش در میان جوانان سابق خدمتگزار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|36301||2010||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Social Science & Medicine, Volume 71, Issue 8, October 2010, Pages 1480–1488
This paper examines the experiences and perspectives of ex-military servicemen in the UK. It focuses specifically on the complex links between emotional distress and various constructions of ‘masculinity’ in a military context. Aspects of military culture that exacerbate vulnerability and also those that are protective to mental health are identified and discussed with reference to the theoretical constructs relating to hegemonic masculinity. A qualitative research design using semi-structured interviews provided in-depth accounts of the experiences of 20 ex-servicemen aged 23–44, all but one of whom were in the Army. We found that in a military setting hegemonic masculinity is embedded in the construction of a soldier identity and expression of emotion may be seen as inappropriate. As a result soldiers often lack a language with which to express distress (in a context in which they may witness extremely distressing events), which may result in delays in recognising and treating mental health problems. However, constructions of masculinity in this setting to some degree also promote a caring, sharing ethos based on strong inter-dependent bonds. A young soldier who can cope with the stresses of military life ‘becomes a man’, adopts a masculine/soldier identity and is well-placed to benefit from these protective factors, notably the camaraderie that is part of service life. In this manner a caring ethos in which some admissions of weakness may be permissible is situated within hegemonic masculinity. This seeming paradox between hyper masculinity and caring masculinities appears to be embedded within military culture, perhaps reflecting the flexibility and ambiguity inherent in constructions of hegemonic masculinity.
There is concern about the mental health of British service personnel due to the recent high level of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the original aim of this research was to explore how a military career may affect the mental health of ex-servicemen (Green, O’Neill, & Walker, 2008). During the analysis it became clear that constructions and performances of masculine identities were key concepts around which their experiences were constructed and this association is the focus of this paper. The military is first and foremost a combat organisation and, even though engagement in combat is sporadic, an effective fighting force has to be maintained at all times. The culture that has developed to support this is characterised as being overtly masculinised and parts of the military have been depicted as institutions that personify hegemonic masculinity (Barrett, 1996). This combination of a strongly masculinised institution operating in a highly stressful environment (particularly during deployment in active combat zones when soldiers may witness and partake in extremely emotionally challenging events) offers an opportunity to enhance our understanding about the relationship between constructions and performances of masculine identities and the expression of distress. In order to do so we seek to examine the following questions: • How is hegemonic masculinity embedded in the construction of a male soldier identity? • What impact does this have on their expression of distress and access to support? • How does this inform our understanding of constructions of masculinity and response to emotional distress? • What are the practical implications of the findings in terms of support for ex-soldiers? In this paper we use the term ‘emotional distress’ to denote subjective experiences such as low mood, homesickness, or pre-combat anxiety, which are indicative of mild sub-clinical stress and fall short of a diagnosis defined through classification systems such as The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. We use the term ‘mental health problem’ to denote more serious and enduring disorders indicative of a clinically diagnosed condition. We recognise that both terms are extremely broad and therefore include many direct quotes from participants which articulate a broad spectrum of distress from “feeing bad” to “battle-shock”. Our primary focus is on combat-related stress, although as this permeates many areas of life in the Armed Forces, such as training to equip recruits to become part of a combat organisation, we draw upon participants’ experiences in a range of settings.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Findings from this study support the previous literature that identifies the military as reproducing and valorising a particular ‘brand’ of hegemonic masculinity (Barrett, 1996). Barrett’s work deals with the US Navy members of the officer corps and their technical expertise, but the link he identifies between the military and the production of hegemonic masculinity has clear applicability to the experiences of the British ex-soldiers in our study. The soldier identity forged during training is focused on the production of an efficient fighting force and involves the acquisition of traits that characterise hegemonic masculinity, such as physical toughness and (at times) aggression. Ironically it is also associated with tolerance of excessive alcohol consumption which could detract from the physical efficiency and tight control of the ‘fighting machine’. However, although the way that excessive alcohol consumption is linked to gender identities is constantly changing, it still appears to represent an important way “to approximate and embody the ideal, dominant, and expected form of masculinity” (Peralta, 2007, p. 751, see also de Visser & Smith, 2007).