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FrontlineCombat and Cohesion in Twenty-First Century$
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Anthony King

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719663

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719663.001.0001

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From a Sociology of Units to a Sociology of Combat Formations

From a Sociology of Units to a Sociology of Combat Formations

Militaries and Cohesion in Urban Combat

(p.72) (p.73) 4 From a Sociology of Units to a Sociology of Combat Formations

Eyal Ben-Ari

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the Israel Defense Forces’ recent experiences of urban combat to challenge classical accounts of unit cohesion in favour of a more processual model. It focuses on three key sociological issues in urban warfare. First is the creation of sociological bubbles marked by particular characteristics such as autonomy, distal (often electronically mediated) leadership and coordination, and improvisation. Second are processes by which a host of ad hoc formations are created and maintained for specific missions (the social and psychological dynamics of creating modular formations). Third are the dynamics of transitions between missions (between the proverbial three blocks of warfare) as a complex of cognitive, emotional, and embodied attitudes.

Keywords:   urban warfare, Israel Defense Forces, leadership, processual model

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