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Accepted Paper:

Carrying the stigma of war in an anti-militarist society: the place of post-traumatized Franco-Canadian soldiers in Quebec society.  


Servane Roupnel (Université Laval)

Paper short abstract:

Canada is marked by linguistic duality, reflected both in the construction of its army and in its support. This communication will look at the induced rules of the military subculture and Quebec society, discussing the place of post-traumatized veterans in a society that reject military support.

Paper long abstract:

Canada is a country marked by linguistic duality between francophones and anglophones. This reality divides Canada into two entities that are distinguished in part by their fervor for the military institution. While English-speaking Canada seems to support the defenders of the nation, francophones, and more specifically Quebecers, offer a resistance that has been historically apparent since the First World War.

Every year, however, French-speaking soldiers join the armed forces, leaving their culture of origin to integrate into a military professional subculture. Often from an early age, they join a collective marked by the values of strength and courage. New rules are imposed on them as tools to deal with the violence of the fighting. However, flaws appear, and many soldiers return traumatized from their missions. No longer in line with the expectations of the armed forces, they are then demobilized, pushed towards a reintegration into civilian life.

But then how do these soldiers, bearing the scars of war, reintegrate into a society rejecting the armed forces and its representatives? How does post-traumatic stress violate the induced rules of the military institution and civil society? What is the place of this tension for French-Canadian civilians who operate around post-traumatized soldiers?

This communication opens the reflection to these questions thanks to the ethnographic data collected as part of my doctoral research in anthropology. We will draw on the testimonies of various actors dealing with PTSD to highlight various paradoxes that, each in their own way, break culturally induced rules.

Panel Pol01
Rearranging the rules in the military experience