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Psychology and War - Research Paper Example

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This research paper describes the social and psychological aspects of war. It discusses means through which psychology is used by the State to make its conduct of war more efficient, and also how psychology can be used as a means of resistance and social education against war…
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Psychology and War
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Download file to see previous pages This research talks about interconnections between war and psychology. Considering the resources that war consumes through military production and the effects in death and destruction, modern psychology can inevitably be seen as divided, like the greater society in which it is developed, into schools of thought that are critical or resistant to war historically and oppose it as a social practice and government policy, as well as those schools which make war more efficient and profitable by enabling the smooth functioning of the war machine, its economy, and State bureaucracies. In reviewing the range of applications of psychology in society over the course of the 20th Century, some schools of psychology were integrated with the operations of the State and its military machine in Nazi Germany, the USSR, China, as well as the liberal-democratic States of NATO and the West. At the same time, some schools of psychology aligned with Marxism against capitalism, and generated critical responses to the State that integrated aspects of both ideologies. In reviewing the schools of psychology within this framework, it is possible to re-categorize the schools in terms of “war psychologies” and “peace psychologies” with reference to whether or not the school’s practitioners enabled or opposed war fundamentally, as well as to identify “medical psychology” as a third type of non-aligned functioning of treatment and healing of mental illness that may circumvent the requirement to make a moral choice about the ethical basis of war.
In referencing the professional conduct of psychology, the fundamental moral identity of the individual is expressed in the view on war and this may require the psychologist to make difficult ethical choices when contemplating a career path within institutions or the State. As such, some schools of psychology associated with “peace psychologies” may become marginalized or repressed by the hegemonic aspects of the war machine which dominate both academic and public discourse. In conducting the research for this thesis, a war psychology is defined as a school of psychology that is directly integrated with the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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