New publication on moral injury

Buechner, B. (2020). Untold stories of moral injury: What we are learning—and not learning—from military veterans in transition, Frontiers in Communication, Volume 5.

Confronted with environmental deterioration, economic disruptions, wars and civil unrest, we are challenged to engage in coherent conversations that could lead to collective action, based on a shared understanding. Instead, we are enmeshed in polarized narratives, competing agendas, and emotional conflict. The uneven response to the global COVID-19 pandemic is but the most recent example of this lack of unity. As we seek to find our way in this increasingly complex social landscape, one of the best potential sources for learning about social systems and communication in conflict has gone largely unexamined, buried in “unheard” stories of returning military veterans—many of whom also suffer from the burden of moral conflicts encountered during service. This recently-published article discusses the possibility of interdisciplinary engagement with these stories, using the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) Theory to look at the way that moral conflict and moral injuries are “made” or socially constructed in misaligned communication between returning service members and families, institutions and others.  Mental health implications are drawn from Adlerian psychology, a body of psychological theory that is intersubjectively oriented and shares a relational or social constructionist orientation with CMM. 

The article is published as an open source document and can be downloaded at:  https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fcomm.2020.599301

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