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New Book by UC Researcher Examines War and Society

University of Cincinnati Sociologist Steve-Carlton Ford compiles a new handbook that’s described as “an introduction to current sociological and behavioral research on the effects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Date: 9/7/2010
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover
Just off the press – a new reference book examines the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in regard to the effects on society.
Steve Carlton-Ford
Steve Carlton-Ford

Published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, “The Routledge Handbook of War and Society: Iraq and Afghanistan,” is co-edited by Steve Carlton-Ford, professor and newly appointed head of the University of Cincinnati Department of Sociology, and Morton G. Ender, professor of sociology and sociology program director at West Point, the United States Military Academy.


The two researchers have worked together in the past, studying how the Iraq war affected the self-esteem of Iraqi adolescents. Their research is published in the handbook – along with contributions from 50 scholars crossing the United States, Canada and Pakistan – on the current societal effects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Unlike many handbook volumes, which are typically 10-or 20-year retrospectives, this research examines the effects of war in Iraq and Afghanistan as it happens,” says Carlton-Ford.

As former editor of the journal, Sociological Focus, the official publication of the North Central Sociological Association (NCSA), Carlton-Ford says he published two special issues of Sociological Focus on the war in Iraq. The research evolved into the idea for the handbook and they started soliciting scholarly contributions examining the war in Afghanistan as well.

Routledge announced that the handbook is divided into four areas in analyzing the effect of the two wars on military personnel and civilians:

  • War on the Ground: Combat and Its Aftermath
  • War on the Ground: Non-Combat Operations, Noncombatants and Operators
  • The War Back Home: The Social Construction of War, Its Heroes and Its Enemies
  • The War Back Home: Families and Youth on the Home Front

“The book has two very thoughtful papers about fighting two wars with an all-volunteer army,” Carton-Ford says. “Two papers examine the Abu Ghraib prison tortures committed by U.S. military police. One of the chapters was written right after the scandal broke and another is a longer-written timeline with a wider perspective of the scandal.”

The research by the co-editors on the attitudes of Iraqi adolescents has been presented nationally and resulted from a 2004 survey of 1,000 Iraqi adolescents in 10 neighborhoods across Baghdad. The survey found that the higher the perceived threat of the war, the higher the teens reported their self-esteem. Carlton-Ford adds that in the cases of young children, conflict-related events typically lower a child’s psychological well-being.

Routledge is a publisher of quality academic books, journals and online references. The 320-page handbook can be ordered online.

Carlton-Ford joined the UC Sociology Department in 1988. Currently, his research examines the impact of armed conflict on the life chances of children and adolescents.

Carlton-Ford’s research has examined the impact of armed conflict on adolescent’s psychological well-being. The bulk of his research has examined the impact of armed conflict and militarization on children’s mortality rates.

Carlton-Ford’s appointment as head of the UC Sociology Department took effect on Sept. 1.

UC’s Department of Sociology in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences has nationally recognized faculty with award-winning publications and research grants.