About Help with PhD-A soldiers identity.
|September 23rd, 2012||#1|
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Help with PhD-A soldiers identity. info
My name is Elio, and I am beginning a PhD to try and improve the lives of soldiers and veterans. Before I begin this high intensity research project, and post in the section dedicated to surveys and research projects, I just thought I would ask some opinions from people on here?
I would just like to know how willing veterans are to answer a non intrusive, basic, open ended questionnaire if it were to remain anonymous and be done over email?
Any thoughts/suggestions or questions about the project are very welcome.
Thank you for your time,
|September 24th, 2012||#4|
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Not everyone wants to give out their email address either.
"This is the Royal Marines son. If you wanted this to be easy, you should have joined the Parachute Regiment!"
"Pain lasts for a moment, the Green Beret lasts forever!"
|September 24th, 2012||#5|
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Thanks for the responses.
NP8901 and headwards: I am posting into this message a brief explanation of my project to give you a better idea of what I am aiming to do. If you feel this still does not answer your questions I would be happy to explain in more detail.
Capt frogman: If I could pm individuals who are willing, instead of using their email addresses would this help?
headward: Do you have any suggestions on how to build up that trust? Of course I have my local vet societies I have contacted, in which i hope to go down and meet people individually, explaining what I aim to do...
My Name is Elio Martino, and I am a doctoral research student looking to understand the warrior identity (amongst other identities) in veterans from combat and non-combat roles. The research would be vital to understanding what helps infantry soldiers carry out their duty, resistance to PTSD and how the public treat soldiers. This research would involve direct contact with veterans.
I am not looking for any confidential information, or to be intrusive, but I do want to tackle and challenge some of the myths surrounding what it takes to have the mindset and resilience to kill the enemy. This research is designed to help clear up some questions surrounding: PTSD, how to build a resistance to prolonged trauma and help shape the public's understanding of the identity of a soldier.
The current research suggests that humans have a natural resistance to killing each other. A natural disposition so innate that doing so causes trauma and extreme stress to that individual. This research suggests that Military training overcomes this resistance, without concerning itself with the trauma the soldier is left to deal with. This theory suggests such a resistance is deep rooted in Freudian philosophies of an understanding that we are all part of the same species. I believe this needs to be challenged.
I believe that in today’s standing professional army, and especially among combat infantry, their identity as a member of their specific regiment/squadron, as a soldier and a family man (amongst others) is what forms their ability to complete their duty.
This research will look into this theory of resistance to killing and attempt to investigate it from an identity perspective; it will also challenge it, and instead suggest that the identity of an individual and the culture they live in is what shapes their view on combat.
I am more than happy to provide extensive notes and details on anything you want to know more about. What I’m looking for are veterans who are willing to fill out a non intrusive, basic questionnaire, which can be done via email, mail or in person. Those that wish to talk to me about their experiences would also be a great help, and I would be more than happy and in fact honored to have such an opportunity.
Overall, My aim is to tackle such questions as, identity in soldiers, preventing PTSD, and society’s label on soldiers and how that affects their identities (i.e warrior, soldier, peacekeeper).
|September 24th, 2012||#6|
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I believe you´re on to something. But we don´t need understanding, we need acceptance. There is a big difference between the two. I wish that people at home was better to separate the two things. You can be against the war, but still accept us for us for what we have to do.
Are you able to PM this questionnaire to me? Would like to see it before I decide to participate.
If you have questions, you can ask them here too. I think we could have a good debate on this topic.
|September 24th, 2012||#7|
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Thanks for the reply NP8901.
I completely understand what you are saying, regardless of if we are happy with the war or not, we still send soldiers over to do a job most of us could never do, and we have to deal with those consequences and help those that come home in whatever way we can. My only goal is to try and see if understanding this, will help people eventually accept.
I am more then happy to send you the survey, and from there it is completely up to you if you do it or not, there is no obligation at all. Any feedback would also be great. However I am still in the process of designing this questionnaire, do you feel like this is something you would be willing to have PM to you at a later date? This post was more to test the waters to see if people would be interested.
Further, if you have any advice, information on what to include, what you feel soldiers go through, and what you feel helps you chose to do the soldiers job (identity), then please let me know and we can have a chat. As I said its a study about you guys, for you guys, so the study can only benefit from communication like this.
P.S A debate on this topic sounds great, I will post on here questions and see what the general response is! Great idea.
Thanks again, and I appreciate your time.
|September 24th, 2012||#8|
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This sound interesting, I have a few questions about this research. If this is a dissertation, then I get the feeling it is too thin, unless you will do much more than what you said here. If you are doing a dissertation, you need to find something new in the theoretical assumptions and the treatment of psychological traumas. It has already been done by Stephen Joseph (Professor of Psychology, Health, and Social Care at the University of Nottingham, UK). I assume you are using Social Identity Theories and Freud’s Repression approach, even if you are using a different approach and challenging these assumptions.
I have a feeling you are using too many theories, this may crash
Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.
|September 24th, 2012||#9|
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tino -- what makes Infantry/Armor types do what they do?? Training might be the answer... when schit hits the fan you cease being the individual and become part of the machine you were taught to be.. A cog in the wheel so-to-speak... some cogs are smaller (pvt's) and some cogs are bigger (sgt's) etc, etc. We do what we do because that is what we were trained to do. (Special Ops take all this to a much higher level)
How an individual *deals* with combat and it's after affects is as varied as the individual themselves...... EVERYONE deals with it differently... Personally I think throwing the PDSD card is overplayed by many... Truly there are those who experience it and need assistance... others see it as a means to get a few bucks... (because they can)
As one here suggest you most likely will get few to share their e-mail address... and you will never be able to relate to any of us who have been in combat... it is one of those things that, if you ain't been, you just will not understand the what's and why-fores of what goes on...
example, a long time ago, I was fixing up a super batch of *ja-mocha* on my little *C-Ration/heat tab* stove.. the bad guys decided to play - I turned away from my *brew* to *play* with our unwanted guest....... when the game was over I returned to enjoy my drink........ and it WAS GONE -- I thought bullet, mortar fragment... but no, in the middle of our fire-fight a guy in the hole off to the side of me ran over, got it, and took it back to his fighting position and he and his mate drank it while they did their thing with the bad guys.......... now tell me, *what* would make someone do that when being shot at -- sometimes funny schit happens...
OH, and they said it tasted as good as it looked while I was making it. (they had been watching me brew it)
noper, just have to have been in that environment to appreciate what someone may tell you...kinda why it's an exclusive club... be we Russian, French, English or even us colonials.
One Flag... One heart... One Nation...
Last edited by m551sheridan; September 24th, 2012 at 17:37..
|September 24th, 2012||#10|
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M551sheridan- I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, thanks for the post. It is true I will never know what soldiers go through, regardless of how much I study the area. Hopefully this will not prevent me from contributing to the growing body of knowledge. Of course, not being part of the 'club' does make it harder for people to trust and talk to me, even fill out a form, knowing full well I will never really understand. And that is something I will just have to work around.
13BrigPvSk- Thanks for the reply.
I will attempt to answer your questions on here, but if you want further elaboration I am more then happy to pm you so as to not clog up the forum with essays that might annoy other users.
You are either very well read and take an active interest in the literature, or you have a Psychology Masters (at the very least).
You are of course right, the brief description given above is a snippet of what I am looking at, I will actually post into this message a rough draft of the overview of my research so you can see where I am coming from.
Thank you for bringing Stephen Joseph to my attention. I understand he has covered the notion of resilience as a preventative measure to PTSD and coping strategy. Hopefully this summary below further explains my perspective: (Please note, this is very rough, so note the lack of references and brief description for many of the suggestions. I suspect the grammar might be a bit basic too, but you get the idea.)
In 1975 General S.L.A Marshall changed the worlds view on combat forever when he published his work Men Against Fire. Within this text he suggested a startling fact: In WWII only 15-20% of soldiers were firing their weapons. After conducting hundreds of interviews Marshall declared that Man, as a general principle, had a resistance to killing. His subsequent work is reported by the works of Grossman (2005) to have altered the way the military trained combatants, subsequently overriding this resistance and increasing rates of fire to 50% (in Korea) then 95% (In Vietnam). This work went virtually unchallenged since its introduction after WWII, and spawned the work of Grossman, a military Psychologists who’s work elaborated upon this theory. Grossmans articles and book won critical appraise, becoming mandatory reading for the CIA, FBI, Army, Air Force, Marines and countless police academies across the globe. But simply, it is defining the governments training and understanding of the solider and police officers.
Recently however a great deal of criticism has been directed at SLA Marshalls findings. Although a great number of these are directed at his unscientific method of collecting data, other studies have failed to replicate his findings. This has lead to a inernational debate over this notion of a resistance to killing, putting Grossmans ‘resistance to killing’ theory under threat.
This study however, would seek to go beyond this and analyze the very nature of Grossmans theory of resistance to killing, which as will be discussed is ambiguous, contradictory, and at best overly simplified in nature.
Using Interviews and transcripts Grossman hypothesizes the following:
· Mans resistance to killing has been thoroughly documented during wars in history.
· The nature of this resistance is a type of instinctive, biological predisposition based on a Freudian concept of understanding the collective, connection of individuals through a common trait of being human.
· The Military utilize classical conditioning and social learning process to brain wash soldiers into killing, without giving thought to the traumatic consequences of go against such a resistance.
· The military and police force need to pay attention to this resistance, and what It means to kills.
· Within the military exists a 2% which Grossman suggests are capable of killing without this implicit resistance. He argues against the notion of Psychopathy, and suggests these types are a natural soldier, a type of empathic killer, which is useful within the military. An environment a sociopath/Psychopath (he incorrectly uses the terms interchangeably) cannot flourish.
Aim of proposed research
The proposed research will investigate the notion of social Identify and Identity theory to investigate this resistance to killing, with the aim of explaining soldiers justifications for killing the enemy, as well as being able to predict soldiers ability to kill the enemy without serious trauma, based on certain identity traits and reinforcements of such traits.
An integrated approach to identity and social identity has been well documented as a means to accurately predict and understand individual’s behaviors, feelings, thoughts and actions.
Social Identity and identity theory suggests that the individual can form many identities over a lifetime that collectively and individually shape their behavior. These desired and sort after identities shape the way an individual can respond in a group and to an out-group in a manner, which can cause extreme prejudice and conflict.
A individual can thus be shaped by their culture and surroundings and seek to build an identity around such environments. If the environment encouraged a passive almost taboo culture to killing, then it is suggested that the individual will base their identity around that group norm. Whilst the opposite can be true for cultures such as warrior tribes, and more recently close knit combat units such as the United States Marine Corps. Research has suggested that identities within soldiers are extremely important in shaping soldiers lives and understanding depression, stress and motivations.
This research will consist of the following three components:
· Can identity more accurately describe and explain this concept of a resistance to killing then Grossmans Freudian, abstract existential collective existence? Does the Military use identity strengthening techniques (such as battle mind) to further reinforce this desired behavior that is part of a soldiers duty?
· Does this resistance exist at all? Taking into account recent criticisms to Marshall and Grossmans theory, can it be suggested that ones culture and society, and thus identity is a better explanation.
· A third and less detailed component will begin to explore this concept of empathic killer as appose to the Psychopath involved in the commando roles as described by Grossman. Research on this will be limited in scope and be classed as both secondary data and component to the research.
This research will utilize veterans from both combat and non-combat roles to better understand this identity approach. This research will also look at training orientated soldiers in an attempt to understand their understanding and use of identity building as a means to encourage the motivation to kill the enemy, if need be.
Relevance, goals, and contribution to the literature
Grossmans work is affecting the way government bodies are training and forming a belief of how soldiers and police officers are trained to kill, naturally affecting the general populations perspectives of said groups. This has not come without outcry from various police academies who believe to much emphasis is placed on conditioning and the automatic approach to killing that Grossman suggests, which is suggest to be inflammatory. This research can further help clarify the process of identity in motivating the factor in killing the enemy.
Grossman suggests that this automatic trained response to killing is causing soldiers and officers to suffer trauma that needs to be addressed. PTSD rates among soldiers contradict this suggestion. This would further add clarity to the growing research on PTSD.
It has been suggested that building and encouraging resilience among individuals is becoming an increasingly useful way in preventing soldiers from developing PTSD. There has been increasing evidence that such resilience has been used within the civilian population during mass emergencies and disasters. Identity reinforcement is a large and critical factor in this resilience building, and as such, this research can add to the growing body of research in preventing PTSD. The Militaries ‘battle mind’ may be an important component to this.
This study will attempt to be able to predict soldiers ability to kill the enemy and accept such acts without need for stress induced times off, based on certain identity traits and reinforcements of such traits.
Challenge the relevance of Grossmans literature to the modern day all voluntary Military which identity as a soldier/warrior/peacekeeper may vary significantly to a mandatory service soldier.
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