Jarhead and Deskilling and the Military: Potential Implications for the Australian Labour Market

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Title Jarhead and Deskilling and the Military: Potential Implications for the Australian Labour Market
Author Townsend, Keith John; Charles, Michael B.
Journal Name Australian Bulletin of Labour
Editor Keith Hancock
Year Published 2008
Place of publication Australia
Publisher National Institute of Labour Studies
Abstract This paper uses a popular culture medium to examine the notion of deskilling in one particular sector, viz., the military. Jarhead was released to cinemas in 2005 and follows the experiences of United States Marine, Anthony Swofford, in the first Gulf War of the early 1990s. We witness the central character undergo intensive training to become one of the Marine's highly skilled employees – a sniper. We observe Swofford and his colleagues' increasing frustrations with their inability to 'ply their trade'. While the sniper was a highly skilled, indeed élite, fi ghter in earlier confl icts, technological developments have left this skilled artisan as a bystander in modern set-piece warfare. This paper adds to our understanding of the tensions between traditional skilled occupations and technological development, in addition to the tensions between military skills and non-military employment. Using the Hollywood movie Jarhead as a lens, the audience witnesses the manner in which technology leads to a divergence in workplace skills. Finally, this paper considers the implications for the Australian labour market.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Australian+Bulletin+of+Labour-p2332
Alternative URI http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Jarhead+and+deskilling+in+the+military%3a+potential+implications+for...-a0180969800
Copyright Statement Copyright 2008 Australian Bulletin of Labour. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 34
Issue Number 1
Page from 64
Page to 78
ISSN 0311-6336
Date Accessioned 2008-09-05
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject PRE2009-Industrial Relations
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/20328
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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