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Post-Heroic Warfare Revisited: Meaning and Legitimation of Military Losses

Publikation: Forskning - peer reviewTidsskriftartikel

  • Kristian Frisk
The article challenges the thesis that western societies have moved towards a post-heroic mood in which military casualties are interpreted as nothing but a waste of life. Using content analysis and qualitative textual analysis of obituaries produced by the Royal Danish Army in memory of soldiers killed during the Second World War (1940–1945) and the military campaign in Afghanistan (2002–2014), the article shows that a ‘good’ military death is no longer conceived of as a patriotic sacrifice, but is instead legitimised by an appeal to the unique moral worth, humanitarian goals and high professionalism of the fallen. The article concludes that fatalities in international military engagement have invoked a sense of post-patriotic heroism instead of a post-heroic crisis, and argues that the social order of modern society has underpinned, rather than undermined, ideals of military self-sacrifice and heroism, contrary to the predominant assumption of the literature on post-heroic warfare.
OriginalsprogDansk
TidsskriftSociology
ISSN0038-0385
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 27 jan. 2017
Eksternt udgivetJa

Bibliografisk note

Artiklen er skrevet ved Forsvarsakademiet, som led i et forskningsmiljøskifte af forfatteren.

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