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The trauma risk management approach to post-traumatic stress disorder in the British military: masculinity, biopolitics, and depoliticisation

Gray, Harriet (2015) The trauma risk management approach to post-traumatic stress disorder in the British military: masculinity, biopolitics, and depoliticisation. Feminist Review, 111. pp. 109-123. ISSN 0141-7789

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Identification Number: 10.1057/fr.2015.23

Abstract

This paper discusses the political implications of the British military’s Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) approach to personnel suffering from combat-related mental debilities such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Drawing on narratives which emerged from qualitative interviews with trained TRiM practitioners and military welfare workers, I tease out some of the assumptions and beliefs about mental health and mental illness which underpin this mental health intervention programme. I explore TRiM as a biopolitical strategy targeted towards the construction of a particular conceptualisation of mental wellness and militarised masculine personhood. As a biopolitical strategy, I argue that TRiM plays an important role in the construction of ideas around mental wellbeing and mental frailty that best enable the operation of military power in the contemporary British context. I discuss the narrative of transformation in militarised models of masculinity which emerge from discussions of TRiM, and highlight the important political function that this plays in enabling and legitimating militarism. Finally, I draw attention to the ways in which the focus on individual and cultural factors rather than war as the primary cause of difficulties for servicemen experiencing psychological distress functions to neutralise the potential trouble which could be instigated for the British military by the bodies of servicemen psychologically damaged by their experiences of conflict.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/fr/index.html
Additional Information: © 2015 Feminist Review
Divisions: Gender Studies
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Gender Institute
Date Deposited: 29 May 2015 13:31
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 11:17
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/62144

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