Morten G. Ender

in The Oxford Handbook of Military Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399325
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology


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This chapter explores the meaning of the film Groundhog Day relative to social-psychological elements of boredom. The chapter presents the popular film Groundhog Day featuring actor Bill Murray as a metaphor for American soldiers’ experiences in Iraq. American soldiers and others in Iraq referred to their experience as akin to the film. Groundhog Day is a spatio-temporal displacement film, a comedic love story featuring personal redemption in order for the main character to successfully transform. Groundhog Day—the day—has spiritual and nature roots and represents the transition to springtime. All religions find utility in the film’s leitmotif, and Bill Murray represents a character regularly cast in transitional roles. The chapter highlights direct references to the film from those with experience in Iraq and presents some interpretations of the film itself that are illustrative of the American experience in Iraq. The chapter concludes with some future directions for research by social psychologists and applications for practitioners interested in soldiering, film, and boredom.

Keywords: Boredom; Iraq; American soldiers; film; Groundhog Day

Article.  10603 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Criminal and Forensic Psychology

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