Serialized soldiers and the new archetype: America’s portrayal of soldiers in the Post-Vietnam Era
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Date of Graduation
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of History
Emily M. Westkaemper
Gabrielle M. Lanier
In post-Vietnam War popular culture, a fundamental shift in how Americans portrayed soldiers in media occurred. A new soldier archetype was created that allowed Americans to reintroduce patriotism and heroism into stories about a deeply controversial war. These fictional soldiers embodied the political and cultural turmoil of their time as well as America’s complicated relationship with Vietnam and its own self-image. This project looks at serialized media in the late 1960s-1980s, primarily utilizing popular television shows such as M*A*S*H, to follow the development of these characters, their part in shaping American memory of the war, and to understand why these characters continue to resonate with modern audiences.
Childers, Rachel, "Serialized soldiers and the new archetype: America’s portrayal of soldiers in the Post-Vietnam Era" (2020). Masters Theses, 2020-current. 31.