Military Ethics and Industry
in Support of Military Power

Dr Brad West

In this video the Australian cultural sociologist Dr Brad West examines ethical issues related to the Australian Defence Force’s increased utilisation of industry. The discussion will be informed by research in the academic fields of Armed Forces and Society and sociological theory on the values and moral codes that operate in different spheres within contemporary society. In particular, Dr West outlines the various ways that an environment for unethical conduct can unintentionally emerge from an unrefined application of market and quasi-market-type logics to the military and Department of Defence. The shift in technological expertise at the end of the Cold War from the public to the private sector means that industry is now critical to the Defence capability of nations. However, it is argued in the video that there is a need to recognise and respect the differences in culture between Defence and industry, with a failure to do so potentially resulting in an erosion of cultural identifiers that play an important role in maintaining ethical standards and limiting unethical behaviour.

Perceiving the Military Figure in Australia

Dr Cate Carter, CDLE/UniSA

This presentation is about the importance of images in the way Australians understand the military figure. Australia constructs its military identity in part from popular culture, and the military figure is situated well within Australian art, literature, film and television. These images contribute to the construction and promotion of the military ideal (known as ‘the digger’) in the Australian vernacular.