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War games citizenship and play in post-industrial militarism /

by Stahl, Roger J.

Abstract (Summary)
iii Post-industrial war is increasingly portrayed as an object of consumption rather than civic contemplation, a particular kind of “militarism” with a strong component of play. The viewer is called into the role of citizen-soldier with ever-greater access to the front lines, though the image of this real-time war is sanitized for easy digestion. Using television war coverage as a starting point, War Games examines the stories told about citizenship in war film, military recruitment ads, video games, and toys. Two major discursive strands are identified: war as extreme sport and war as video game. Not only are the games themselves suffused with the signs of war, but official war discourse (journalism and military recruitment) is increasingly suffused with the signs of consumer play. This integration and confusion restricts possibilities for critical citizenship. War Games concludes with a discussion of strategies for dissociating the citizen from the consumer, thereby reopening spaces for critical deliberation on matters of state violence.
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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