Military Employee Stress The Objective Thesis

The subjects were 613 injured Army personnel Military Deployment Services TF Report 13 admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from March 2003 to September 2004 who were capable of completing the screening battery. Soldiers were assessed at approximately one month after injury and were reassessed at four and seven months either by telephone interview or upon return to the hospital for outpatient treatment. Two hundred and forty-three soldiers completed all three assessments. Posttraumatic stress disorder was assessed with the PTSD Checklist; depression was assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire. Combat exposure, deployment length, and severity of physical problems were also assessed." (Johnson, et al., 2007) I. BREADTH (SOCIAL THEORISTS)

A. KARL MARX (1818-1883)

Karl Marx was born into a Jewish family that had converted to Christianity and is held to be the "world's greatest theorist of capitalism and materialism." (Lukas, nd) Marx earned his Ph.D. In law and philosophy. Marx has been considered both a genius and a madman and there are many misinterpretations of what Marx was expressing and actually represented. Marx focused on explaining how future social systems are shaped by past events and ultimately rejected Hegelian philosophy stating: "Die Philosophen haben die Welt nur verschieden interpretiert, es kommt aber darauf an sie zu veraendern," which translated means "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it." This is directly in contrast to the work of Herbert Spencer who expressly wanted nothing to do with changing society. In the attempt to understand Marx it is first necessary to "acknowledge his ontological position -- that of materialism." (Lukas, nd)

Materialism is a view that places emphasis on the "real, objective, material conditions of the world as they are founded in economic, political and technological structures, as the determining factors behind our social structure and out individual actions." (Lukas, nd) Marx holds that whether the individual is aware of it or not that material conditions hold power over the individual and dominate the individual. Marx focuses on the 'means of product' which includes the technology, energy and resources of capitalism in combination with the 'relations of production' which includes managers, employees and investors, as being the two primary capitalist system components. Marx additionally uses the term 'base' to refer to the "economic foundation of the society and superstructure which refers to the valuative social institutions of religion, polity, education and the like." (Lukas, nd) These two sectors are held by Marx to be closely linked in that the base determines superstructure and these terms are representative of the game rules inherent in capitalism. Players in the game of capitalism include:

(1) Proletariat -- those who are paid less than the value of their work;

(2) Capitalists/Bourgeoisie -- those who have the power in controlling access to the means of production;

(3) Lumpen proletariat -- those who are under- or unemployed and work only where they are needed by the capitalists/bourgeoisie and those who occupy the bottom run of the social ladder.

From the view of Marx these players are in a game that is the philosophy of materialist thought is a fixed game. The game is fixed through means of profits and in capitalism profit making is the primary goal. The primary factor in capitalism's success is that of labor and further important is that of 'surplus value' or the "extra value that comes from the blood, sweat and tears of the worker. This value includes the stored-up energies of workers as they sleep at night and the hours that they put in at work -- for which they are not fully compensated." (Lukas, nd) Added to this the bourgeois legality has been devised by capitalists which is a "legal system that protects the capitalist system." (Lukas, nd) Lukas states that while this legal system "…will assure that no excesses come to harm workers, its ultimate function is to allow the game of capitalism to be fixed at the legal level." (nd)

It is held that the primary 'fix' utilized in the capitalist game is that of the use of 'ideology' which is a "…direct result of the mode of production in a society." (Lukas, nd) Ideology can be defined as "justifications for existing social relations." (Lukas, nd) Ideology is used to hide the truth in reality so that the control of the means of production can be maintained by the capitalists within the society. Marx and Engels stated in relation to ideology as follows:

"If in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside down as in a camera obscura, this phenomenon arises...


In the end the workers are experiencing what Marx calls 'alienation' or the "disconnection of estrangement between the worker and the process of production and the product itself." (Lukas, nd) it is this conflict perspective that relates to the organization within society and specifically refers to those holding the power and those devoid of any power when viewed through ideological and economic lens.
B. EMILE DURKHEIM (1858-1917)

Emile Durkheim was one of the most influential sociologists and like other thinkers of influence Durkheim was in search of understanding of the society that was in constant change and constantly characterized by contradictions. Durkheim's father was a Jewish Rabbi. Durkheim "…became immersed in the intellectual world of society and ideas as a student at the Ecole Normale SupErieure in Paris. Durkheim's interaction with others in his life world came to influence his curiosity about the world and his desire to interpret it." (Lukas, nd) This search for understanding is illustrated clearly in Durkheim's study of religion and social integration in his work 'Suicide' (1966) in which he sought to understand why a close friend of his had committed suicide. Durkheim held that suicide is an inherent "social consequence of the world and its organization" emphasized that "suicide rates were inversely proportional to the level of social integration endemic to religions -- in the case of Protestantism, suicide rates were higher, while Catholics and Jews had lower suicide rates." (Lukas, nd)

It was the argument of Durkheim that due to the stressing of independence in Protestantism and the fact that its members are less integrated in society that an increased possibility of suicide existed among Protestant members. Durkheim held that rather than going through abstractions and generalizations about the world that "sociology should develop concrete forms of social analysis." (Lukas, nd) Durkheim, just as did Comte, held concerns and felt a need to understand the relationships within society in what is termed a 'functionalist' approach. Durkheim stood as an advocate of robust social theory development through empirical studies and rigorous methodology and his conceptualization of 'social facts' is one of his primary contributions to advancing empirical sociology. It was Durkheim's position that "social facts existed independently of the individual…" (Lukas, nd) However, those social facts nevertheless impact the individual. In fact, it is this belief of Durkheim that best illustrates the perspective of realism held by Durkheim which is a perspective that places the emphasis on "the existence of a social reality independent of human understanding of it, the world forms a basis of social relations and social organization which must be understood by the sociologist in order to comprehend the nature of social reality." (Lukas, nd)

Durkheim additionally advocated what was a comparative approach to sociology "comparative sociology is not a particular branch of sociology, it is sociology itself." (Durkheim 1938: 139) the comparative approach places emphasis on the meaning of one part of society, or one whole society and that there is only understanding of this in the part (or society) in its relationship to other parts or other societies. Lukas states of Durkheim that he was "…fascinated with the freeing of industrialization from the social and moral orders and how the fundamental problem of normative disruption is tied to processes of industrialization." (nd) the dissertation of Durkheim evolved into the famously named 'The Division of Labor in Society' written in 1933 in which a comparative understanding of the social order was established. Durkheim is considered to be one of the first public sociologists in history due to his "willingness to spark controversy in the discipline -- a fact established by the edginess of his 'The Rules of the Sociological Method'. (Lukas, nd) Durkheim believed that "moral consensus was a necessary foundation for social solidarity…" (Lukas, nd)

Durkheim placed an emphasis on the belief that progress could result in society however, he did not hold, as did Marx that "the state was the site of class domination, he instead felt that the state itself could be reformed." (Lukas,…

Sources Used in Documents:


Collie, Dale (2008) Army Ranger Reveals How to Control Corporate Stress. Strategic and Business Planning Resource Center. 2008. Online available at:

Fiedler, E.R., Rocco, P.D., Schroeder, D.J. And Nguyen, KT (2000) the Relationship Between Aviators' Home-Based Stress to Work Stress and Self-Perceived Performance. Office of Aviation Medicine, Washington DC in Alliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration. DOT/FAA/AM-00/32.

Friedman, Matthew J. (2004) Acknowledging the Psychiatric Cost of War. The New England Journal of Medicine. Vol. 351: 75-77. 1 July 2004. Online available at:

Friedman, Matthew J. (2006) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Among Military Returnees from Afghanistan and Iraq. Treatment in Psychiatry. Am J. Psychiatry. April 2006. Online available at:
Johnson, P.L. et al. (2007) the Psychological Needs of U.S. Military Service Members and Their Families: A Preliminary Report American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Military Deployment Services for Youth, Families and Service Members February 2007. Online available at:
Lavelle, Mike (nd) Understanding Stress. Navy Chaplain Care. Online available at:
Lukas, Scott a. (nd) Sociological Thinkers and Their Influence. Sociology: A Contemporary and Critical Perspective. Online available at:
Massello, Carolyn S. (2007) Stress Management Among Military Commanders" Spouses. Biofeedback Vol.35, Issue 3. Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Feedback. Online available at:
Morrison, Ken (2006) Max, Durkheim, and Weber: Formations of Modern Social Thought. SAGE 2006. Google Books online available at:,+Durkheim,+Spencer+and+Marx&source=web&ots=ubpXD-V-wn&sig=wIoXa1LY8QxNhR6xotS7Rw9apW8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPP1,M1
Pfanz, Steven (1999) Psychiatric Illness and the Workplace: Perspectives for Occupational Medicine in the Military. Military medicine June 1999. Online available at:;col1
Work Related Stressors (nd) Air Force Medicine. Online available at:
Workplace Stress (2008) Target Health Management USACHPPM Readiness through Health. 8 Sept 2008. Online available at:

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