The dis/embodiment of persuasive military discourse

Maltby, Sarah and Thornham, Helen (2012) The dis/embodiment of persuasive military discourse. Journal of War and Culture Studies, 5 (1). pp. 33-46. ISSN 1752-6272

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Persuasive discourse is a fundamental aspect of contemporary asymmetric warfare where the power of military technologies has been displaced by the need for all parties to a conflict to persuade others to act in accordance with particular war aims. Here we suggest that persuasive military discourse evokes corporeality, transforming armies and enemies into individuals, and utilizing powerful corporeal imagery to fantasize ideals or imagine threats. This article investigates the use of the body as a tool of persuasion through an analysis of NATO Psychological Operations materials used in Afghanistan. These materials are primarily used to persuade the local population and Afghan security forces of particular courses of action, whilst simultaneously seeking to dissuade, disrupt and deter Taliban forces. Such an investigation not only offers insights into the ways in which the body becomes a site for political ideals, truths and imaginings but also the extent to which this process masks the lived bodily reality of war.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
Depositing User: Sarah Maltby
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2013 07:51
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 10:57

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