Awkward Moments in the Anthropology of the Military and the (Im)possibility of Critique

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One outcome of Denmark’s recent military engagements in international conflicts is an emerging social category of veterans, exceeding 40,000 individuals. While the contemporary wars are ‘distant wars’, the veterans bring war home in various guises. For that reason, veterans have become a major political, professional, and scholarly matter of concern. This article explores co-existing framings of ‘the veteran’ with point of departure in the authors’ engagements with veterans, professionals, and fellow academics. We focus on ‘awkward fieldwork moments’, when we felt caught between conflicting normative views of the veteran that each demanded different appropriate reactions, and scrutinise the (im)possibilities of critique that these situations present. By way of conclusion, we propose a pluralising attitude to this particularly charged field of inquiry; one, which neither condemns nor lauds ipso
facto, but, ra-ther, dissects the discursive limits imposed on our reasoning and
experiment with the possibility of braving them through empathetic engagement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnos - Journal of Anthropology
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ID: 236615021