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'Tokowa po na ekolo’: The military body within the Congolese army

'Tokowa po na ekolo’: The military body within the Congolese army

Lakika, Dostin and Essex, Ryan ORCID: 0000-0003-3497-3137 (2022) 'Tokowa po na ekolo’: The military body within the Congolese army. Armed Forces and Society. ISSN 1556-0848 (Online) (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper explores the conceptualisation of the body among former Congolese soldiers living as refugees in Johannesburg. The paper draws on extensive fieldwork in Johannesburg, South Africa and employs the concept of deterritorialization and reterritorialization to explain the bodies of those who have decided to join the Congolese Army. The paper reveals the complex ways in which the army manipulates soldiers’ bodies to generate diverse lines of connection, coalition and removal (or disconnection). We support that the soldiers’ bodies are not necessarily owned by the country, but that soldiers’ bodies become owned by military institutions, who employ nationalist rhetoric to justify their existence and actions. The act of joining the army could be considered a way of cutting ties with civilian life and joining a new world in which the individual is socialised into military culture. Through initiation, the soldier’s body is reterritorialized; it becomes a national asset. While this study focuses on former Congolese soldiers, it has broader relevance, giving insight into how soldiers perceive their body shifting from individual possession to be reterritorialized as the body of the nation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: DR Congo, bodies, soldier, deterritorialization, reterritorialization
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Chronic Illness and Ageing
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Professional Workforce Development
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2022 13:33
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/37084

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