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Title: Narrating identity : career soldiers anticipating exit from the British Army
Author: Walker, David Ian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 1759
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2010
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available