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Midterm Exam: Analysis Of “The Wounded Platoon”

1996 words - 8 pages

PBS’ Frontline film “The Wounded Platoon” reviews the effects the Iraq war has had on soldiers as they return home and transition back into civilian life, focusing particularly on the rise in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among American military members from Fort Carson Army base (Edge, 2010). Incidents of PTSD have risen dramatically in the military since the beginning of the Iraq war and military mental health policies and treatment procedures have adapted to manage this increase (Edge, 2010). In “The Wounded Platoon,” many military personnel discuss how PTSD, and other mental health struggles, have been inadequately treated (if at all) by military mental health services. ...view middle of the document...

This causes shame and guilt to surround these institutions, thereby increasing the stigma associated with utilizing social welfare agencies. Many soldiers expressed, through the documentary, the tremendous courage it took for them to seek assistance for mental health struggles and feelings of increased shame and/or anger when they were denied or given inadequate treatment (Edge, 2010). Neoconservatives would argue that the individual failed to care for him/herself and the mental health issue is the result of personal deficiency and incapability in adequately utilizing the systems in place to handle mental health issues. PTSD would never be defined, under the neoconservative perspective, as a result of a capitalist society because neoconservatives would not see any connection between military policies, procedures, recruiting tactics, training methods, or combat activities and the development of a mental health disorder. As evidenced in “The Wounded Platoon,” military personnel stated that the soldiers who suffered from PTSD were predisposed for the disorder and it simply did not show up during initial screening or training processes (Edge, 2010). This releases the military from any responsibility to address its role in the increased number of cases in PTSD since the Iraq war began.
The military and pharmaceutical companies benefit greatly from the victim-blaming perception because they are released of responsibility and pharmaceutical companies are able to increase profits to treat disorders while military members continue to fight them from the frontlines, literally (Edge, 2010). On the other hand, marginalized individuals are further oppressed through this definition. In “The Wounded Platoon,” soldiers such as Jose Barco, who is Hispanic, experienced increased barriers to treatment for his PTSD and harsher consequences for the resultant actions of inadequate treatment than his fellow white soldiers, who seemed to be offered more ‘passes’ when their inadequately treated PTSD caused them to act defiantly in society (Edge, 2010). Neoconservatives would not see this as a problem, because in the capitalist society, hierarchies exist to maintain order and increase motivation and affirmative action policies to address racism are seen as unjust reverse discrimination (Mullaly, 2007). Ultimately, any interventions proposed from the neoconservative paradigm would be very laissez faire, requiring the individual to take responsibility for the diagnosis and work through already existing social systems to manage their own illness. No interventions would be implemented beyond the micro-level of the individual because society or institutions did not play a role in causing this social problem.
Liberal Paradigm
Liberalism takes a more humanizing perspective to social problems and balances individual and societal responsibility in the causes and definitions of them. Capitalism is seen as the cause for many social problems because it fails to...

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