From defender to offender: ex-military rejoining civilian society

Cooper, Linda (2019) From defender to offender: ex-military rejoining civilian society. In: Discourses We Live By: Personal and Professional Narratives of Educational and Social Practices. Open Book Publishers. ISBN 9781783748549 (Accepted)

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The notion of belonging is a key tenet of life in the UK Armed Forces and yet the issues surrounding the loss of this camaraderie are often under-estimated when soldiers transition out of the Army and into civilian life. Difficulties are faced by personnel when moving from a job that encompasses one’s self-identity – i.e. a Soldier in the Army – to re-negotiation back into a regular job in society and the family home – becoming ‘just’ an ordinary citizen. Whilst the majority of people who leave the Armed Forces transition successfully into civilian life, there is a significant minority that do not. For many veterans – defined by the Ministry of Defence (MOD, 2011) as somebody who has served at least one day in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces – adjustment can be difficult. This chapter tells the stories of two women who created successful careers in the British Army and, importantly, found a real sense of belonging, as women in a male dominated workplace. Only on leaving the Military did they struggle to re-adjust to a civilian, feminized identity and both women found themselves arrested and in the criminal justice system (CJS). Their stories reveal how their lifestyles were shaped by their sense of belonging in the Armed Forces, its loss on their return to civilian life and the re-building of their female, civilian selves.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Armed Forces, Criminal Justice, Gender, Identity
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 09:46
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2019 16:08

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