Author Topic: Callaghan (2014) MAN UP! MAN DOWN!: Military Masculinity, Stigma, and PTSD  (Read 1993 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
I promised that I would post this:

The Canadian soldier: an exemplar of valour, duty, integrity, honour, and courage; a selfless and self-sacrificing protector of the values and ideals of Canadian society; the “hero”. These are all certainly aspects of the identity of the Canadian soldier, and more importantly, these are all also the epitome of maleness in modern Western society, a maleness that has become largely inseparable from the socially constructed identity of the soldier, or, in other words, a hypermasculine identity that transcends the biology of the individual, since this soldier identity is enacted by soldiers whether they be biologically male or female, and regardless of the sexual identity of the individual, whether it be heterosexual or any variant commonly referred to as LGBTQ. This hypermasculine identity of the soldier, perhaps best referred to as military masculinity, is socialized into the individual soldier long before they ever swear an oath or affirmation of service to Canada, and becomes a core, yet frequently unrecognized, pillar of their internal system of values, ethics, morals, and ethos. And this military masculinity, with its emphasis on the “hero” motif, also plays a role in how the individual soldier lives their daily life, imagines and perceives the world around them, and how they conceptualize injury or illness.
     It is this latter aspect that is the core focus of this paper: how the individual soldier understands, conceptualizes, perceives, and ultimately enacts the condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or any of the other forms of psychological distress that fall under the umbrella term of Operational Stress Injury (OSI), through the socialized lenses of their gendered identity as the “hero”, including the different forms and manners in which stigma towards PTSD or OSI occur, both from within the military culture, and through the broader Canadian society within which the military operates and functions. This paper will examine the ways in which the indoctrination and socialization of the Canadian soldier functions to create and/or reinforce the hypermasculine gendered identity, the military masculinity, that lies at the heart of the social imaginary of who the Canadian soldier is. The manner in which the pain and suffering of psychological distress interacts with this imagined but adopted functional non-biologic gendered identity will be examined, both from the lens of those not stricken by the symptoms of PTSD, as well as from the internalized lens of the wounded warrior.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 05:00:09 AM by Callaghan »