Transition from the Military into Civilian Life: An Exploration of Cultural Competence

Cooper, Linda, Caddick, Nick, Godier-McBard, Lauren R., Cooper, Alex and Fossey, Matt (2018) Transition from the Military into Civilian Life: An Exploration of Cultural Competence. Armed Forces and Society, 44 (1). pp. 156-177. ISSN 1556-0848

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In this paper, we employ the theoretical framework and concepts of Pierre Bourdieu to examine the notion of ‘transition’ from military to civilian life for UK Armed Forces personnel. We put Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, capital and field to work in highlighting key differences between military and civilian life. The use of social theory allows us to describe the cultural legacy of military life, and how this may influence the post-transition course of veterans’ lives. There may be positive and negative transition outcomes for service personnel when moving into civilian life, and by applying Bourdieu’s theoretical concepts we explain how such outcomes can be understood. We suggest that the ‘rules’ are different in military environments compared to civilian ones, and that service personnel must navigate a complex cultural transition when moving between environments. There are numerous and significant implications – including policy applications – from understanding transition through a Bourdieusian lens, and these are highlighted throughout.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Bourdieu, Civilian, Veteran, Transition, Identity, Habitus
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 11:26
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 12:26

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