När krig förlorade sin glorifiering: Det amerikanska krigs- och soldatidealet under andra världskriget och Vietnamkriget
Student paper other, 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
When war lost its glorification : The American war- and soldier ideal during the Second World War and the Vietnam War (English)
This study examines the American war- and soldier ideal in the generations who fought and were young during World War II and the Vietnam War. In order to explore this, a qualitative text analysis has been used to analyse letters, memoirs and textbooks. The findings show that during World War II, there was a largely romanticized war ideal and a soldier ideal that were comprised of decency, bravery and, above all, dutifulness. The increasing exposure to combat led to the romanticized war ideal becoming weakened, but the meaningfulness of the war was never questioned. The somewhat glorified ideals may stem from the World War II-generation’s childhood in which WWI-vets were celebrated and acclaimed which resulted in a Myth of the War Experience. At the time of World War II, there was a current American nationalism and its citizens felt a high confidence in the nation’s foreign policy, which embarked a feeling of duty to serve in the nation’s war.
As for the Vietnam War, a glorified war ideal was present during the first years, stemming from a similiar Myth of the War Experience as the previous generation; only this time it was the WWII-vets who were praised. However, as the war dragged on, the idea of a glorified war was heavily undermined as the opposition against the war grew. The soldier’s ideal also faced a breaking point. The sense of a national duty to go to war weakened, as did the old picture of the decent and heroic soldier. This breaking point may be a result of the decline of American nationalism, war opposition, and the influence of the counterculture.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 48 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-49938OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-49938DiVA: diva2:907310
Subject / course
Teacher Education Programme for Upper Secondary School, 300/330 credits
Hägerdal, Hans, Universitetslektor
Wångmar, Erik, Universitetslektor