Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Group identity, Object relations (Psychoanalysis), Soldiers-United States-Psychology, Veterans-Psychology, War-Psychological aspects, Fornari, Franco, Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939, Theoretical, Freudian group theory, Object relations, U.S. military


This theoretical study examined the experience of the collective in the United States Military through a psychoanalytic psychosocial developmental framework, while drawing upon case material from War, Sebastian Junger's (2010) documentation of a U.S. platoon stationed in the Korangal Valley of Afghanistan. Freudian group theory was used to examine the strengthbased perspective of libidinal bonds developed in the military collective. Fornarian theory, rooted in the early Object-Relations school, was presented to critically examine the regressive qualities of collectivization in the military, characterized by the paranoid-schizoid position. This examination explored the potential impact of the collective experience on the individual service member, including commentary on the military institutional structure, implications for reintegration into individualized U.S. civilian society, and ways in which social workers may better serve returning military members in holding the implications of the collective experience in the treatment alliance.




iii, 75 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 69-74)

Limited Access until August 2019