We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Narrating Identity: Career Soldiers Anticipating Exit from the British Army

WALKER, DAVID,IAN (2010) Narrating Identity: Career Soldiers Anticipating Exit from the British Army. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


Career soldiers exiting the British Army undergo routine “resettlement” processes to tackle their adjustment into civilian employment. This is a transition made by thousands of leavers each year, but little is known about how coming out of the Army is individually experienced and understood, or what processes of change take place. This thesis provides a qualitative analysis of interviews with 28 (male and female) soldiers and officers who are approaching exit after lengthy careers. In particular, it foregrounds the concept of identity to investigate how such leavers narrate past service and anticipated futures beyond Army relations. The leavers continue to work in all parts of the Army and range in rank from Corporal to Colonel, with service of between 10 and 34 years. Some are leaving early for other ventures; some for medical reasons; and others, because the Army no longer accords. Most, however, are realising scheduled and pensionable endings. With reference to George Herbert Mead (1934; 1959) and Paul Ricoeur (1992) the research applies an inter-subjective conception of identity as forever a “becoming” rooted in social relations. By adopting this approach the thesis explores both gradual and dramatic processes of identity (re)construction and brings into some focus precarious and contingent aspects of identity, suggestive of vulnerability both as a kind of occupational hazard and as an inherent feature of identities-of-becoming.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Soldier Identity Army Military
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Mar 2011 10:33

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter