Any Base USA: The Significance of Military Culture in the Construction of Identity
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A retrospective qualitative study was designed to gain insight into the degree to which an emotional attachment to place assisted in the construction of the personal identities among military dependent children. The premise was that military children developed an increasing identification with the military, military bases and the community the base is located within, as a core component of their identity. Two different reminiscence qualitative method collection strategies were utilized to identify key components of identity – interviews and favorite place analysis. A three article format was followed and focuses on the development of identity and its relationship to place attachment. A literature review of military dependent youth and identity development with suggested theoretical and methodological implications is provided. Interviews were conducted constructed from a social identity theory framework and applied to the development of a personal identity for military dependents. Results from the study indicated that military dependent identity has many facets and were they illustrated in four themes: being a military dependent, accepting military culture, experiencing cultural differences, and the reinforcement of military social rules. The possibility of military dependents developing place attachments and their identity development due to the study participant’s experiences with the cycle of parental deployment and familial mobility (domestic and abroad) was also examined. This study also highlighted some of the areas in literature that was lacking for military dependents. It provided a qualitative study examining personal identity development in a rather understudied population. There are 15 million former military dependents that live in the United States. There is a likely possibility that the majority of them have been exposed to parental deployment and/or mobility. More understanding is needed to grasp what effect deployment had during their childhood phase and whether or not there is lasting effects throughout adulthood.
Girard, Jessica Nichole (2014). Any Base USA: The Significance of Military Culture in the Construction of Identity. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from