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Justifying the Ultimate Sacrifice. Civil and Military Religion in Frontline Blogs

Why do soldiers fight? Are their sacrifices justified by the national cause or by military values? Until recently, soldiers’ views on these matters were not part of public debate. Soldiers’ opinions only reached public discourse through war correspondents or diaries, published years after the occurrences described took place. Today, however, soldiers do not depend on others to get their message out. Today, anybody, anywhere can read what front-line soldiers think and feel on military blogs. Therefore, today, the soldier’s justification of war is pivotal for the maintenance of sacrificial ideology or civil religion. By analysing front-line blogs written from Iraq, this dissertation shows that the means of justification differ systematically across rank, gender, political affiliation and, above all, combat experience.

Udgivet december 2009

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