War and Violence

TitleWar and Violence
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBourke, Joanna
JournalThesis Eleven
Volume86
Issue1
Start Page23
Pagination23–38
Date Published08/2006
Abstract

The brutalities of the past century have taken place in the milieu of Enlightenment values. At present, even the ideals of human rights have been used to (at the very least) tolerate and (and at its worst) justify barbaric acts, such as torture. This article interrogates the diverse ways British, American, and Australian individuals engaged in extremes of violence during three major conflicts of the 20th century. Like servicemen and servicewomen today, these combatants struggled to find a language capable of making sense of their violent deeds. Constraining their excesses of violence proved a formidable task. In particular, I examine the ways in which sexual violence was normalized. Finally, on returning home after the war, these individuals and civilian society more broadly struggled with the problem of ‘remembering’ wartime violence in the post-war world. The act of "framing" extremes of violence was integral to the process of enabling perpetrators of violence to assimilate his or her acts into a peacetime self.

URLhttp://the.sagepub.com/content/86/1/23.short
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