Volume 9   Number 1     Fall 2015

A Transitional Narrative of Military Identity: Eric's Story

Jan Grimell
Vrije University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
pp. 135-157

Abstract. Military culture shapes a narrative military identity which gives rise to a military I-position of the self. This may become a dominant voice in the dialogical self. As military personnel leave active duty and begin the transition to civilian life their personal narrative as a military professional becomes disrupted. Additionally, the transition introduces new concepts of who they are into the personal narrative and the self. This may affect the dialogue of the self, as new and old I-positions do not necessarily share the same desires and needs. By using a narrative approach with a dialogical framework this study aims to understand in what way such a transition might affect a subject´s self. The findings suggest that the transition creates decentralizing movements of the self, which are in need of centralization, integration and improved dialogue.

Keywords: dialogical self, I-positions, military identity, narrative identity, transition