Presenter Information

Kevin V. Chu

Abstract

While strict discipline is substantiated as necessary by the armed forces, this creates an environment where individual decision-making is oppressed in favor of mob mentality. Much like how individuals adhere to the culture of common society, the military presents its own social structures for its soldiers. The film A Few Good Men (1992) explores these military institutions where its hierarchal structure emphasizes motifs of obedience, ideology, conformity, and labels, which are central to how it deals with unpredictable problems. Although necessary, these shape the underlying vulnerable psychology of soldiers who learn to view themselves as instruments for superiors, to coincide to militaristic morals, and to seek a sense of community. Psychosomatic research places these in context to the similar nature of identity depravity in prison, authoritarianism, and the reduced sensibility of actions through routinization--all of which play a role in the mental manipulation that the film analyzes in soldiers who conform to military ideals. This paper explores the potential moral, physical, and mental abuse that these military standards can provoke through the psychological exploitation of individual soldiers, which the overall military environment reinforces.

School

Rangos School of Health Sciences

Advisor

Kathleen Roberts

Submission Type

Paper

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An Analysis of Psychological Manipulation in Military Culture

While strict discipline is substantiated as necessary by the armed forces, this creates an environment where individual decision-making is oppressed in favor of mob mentality. Much like how individuals adhere to the culture of common society, the military presents its own social structures for its soldiers. The film A Few Good Men (1992) explores these military institutions where its hierarchal structure emphasizes motifs of obedience, ideology, conformity, and labels, which are central to how it deals with unpredictable problems. Although necessary, these shape the underlying vulnerable psychology of soldiers who learn to view themselves as instruments for superiors, to coincide to militaristic morals, and to seek a sense of community. Psychosomatic research places these in context to the similar nature of identity depravity in prison, authoritarianism, and the reduced sensibility of actions through routinization--all of which play a role in the mental manipulation that the film analyzes in soldiers who conform to military ideals. This paper explores the potential moral, physical, and mental abuse that these military standards can provoke through the psychological exploitation of individual soldiers, which the overall military environment reinforces.

 

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