The officer fetish
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The Officer Fetish examines the fetishized American military officer and the marginalized American enlisted man as they appear in post-World War II American film, television, and literature. The fetishized officer, whose cathexis is most prominent in the World War II-era propaganda film, has persisted as a convention since the wara phenomenon that has contributed to the rise of militarism in America. Chapter II lays the foundation of Marxist and Freudian definitions of fetishism and fetishization, and then gauges those definitions with two films, In Which We Serve (1942), a standard World War II propaganda film, and Saving Private Ryan (1997), a film that postures itself as anti-war. Chapter III examines war narratives as a medium that polices class in American culture. The military, with its anti-democratic two-tiered rank system, is attractive to many novels and films because of its strict class boundaries. Chapter IV examines the degree to which so-called anti-war narratives contribute to Americas rising economy of militarism.
Van Meter, Larry Allan (2004). The officer fetish. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from