Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
'Don't fight the blue elephant': Humorous signs as protests and conductors of negotiations in Swedish Peace Support Operations
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Working Life Science.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Working Life Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5473-7417
2013 (English)In: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 3, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on the role of ”applied” workplace humor (Mulkay 1988) as used by Swedish soldiers deployed overseas. The data primarily refers to workplace signs encountered at military compounds in Liberia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan and interviews with Swedish soldiers before, during, and after deployment. The article aims to compare signs found in two types of military contexts; high and – low-intensity conflict areas respectively, and the findings show that differences in the nature of operations (i.e. threat level and duties) is reflected in the messages’ content. 

Further, we see humorous exchanges during overseas missions as something that provide the scope for relieving various stresses arising from disillusions, and from being subordinated to rules, policies and designed roles, but also where barbed ideas inappropriate for ”serious” communication are vented (Fine 1988). Overall, the paper adds to the literature a description of humorous exchanges in two organizational settings where the need for sense making is always present.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 3, no 3
Keyword [en]
applied humor, deployment stress, Peace Support Operations, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-15433OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-15433DiVA: diva2:564908
Available from: 2012-11-05 Created: 2012-11-05 Last updated: 2017-07-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Emotion matters: Emotion management in Swedish Peace Support Operations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Emotion matters: Emotion management in Swedish Peace Support Operations
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis makes an overall contribution to the qualitative research on soldiers’ experiences from service primarily in low-intensity mission areas, this operational environment being placed within a framework of emotion sociology. The central argument put forward states that even on this type of mission the emotional demands are considerable, and that the need for emotional management in Peace Support Operations (PSO) should therefore generally follow other demarcations than the formal military divisions of high and low intensity conflicts respectively. In contrast to the prevalent view stating that the successful soldier is someone with emotional control in the sense that he ‘lacks’ feeling towards what he is doing, this thesis argues that soldiers’ emotion management work when choosing, modelling, managing, and displaying the ‘right’ emotional expression is what it takes to get the job done. Further, the thesis argues that emotion management demands are not restricted to the tour of service. Returning home often involves feeling both cognitively and emotionally disorientated, even if the mission has been militarily quite uneventful. A new theoretical concept, Post-Deployment Disorientation (PDD), is introduced to explain and highlight the origin of these feelings. PDD is not a diagnosis, however, but a term reserved for a phenomenon invisible in statistics that likely confronts the majority of Swedish soldiers on return.

The thesis comprises four essays and draws on qualitative data collected mainly from soldiers deployed to Kosovo and Liberia in 2006/2007. Two of the essays also include data from Afghanistan. Jointly, the four essays help us understand that from an emotion management perspective, serving abroad is both a varied and challenging experience. Nevertheless, the informants seem to muddle through many difficulties and the study broadly confirms Bolton’s (2005) accounts of the multi-talented emotional actor, who is quite capable of handling contradiction while negotiating feeling rules. However, this does not mean an adjustment with negligible effort or without substantial emotional costs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2012. 74 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2012:47
Keyword
Peace Support Operations, emotion management, low-intensity conflict areas, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-15074 (URN)2012:47 (Local ID)978-91-7063-454-3 (ISBN)2012:47 (Archive number)2012:47 (OAI)
Public defence
2012-11-23, Andersalen, 11D121, Karlstads Universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-11-13 Created: 2012-10-02 Last updated: 2014-05-20Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Weibull, LouiseKarlsson, Jan Christer
By organisation
Department of Working Life Science
In the same journal
Res Militaris
Social Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 147 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf