Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

The military occupational subculture : work and family role conflict for families of military personnel Public Deposited

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  • The focus of this study is the American military family. The primary purpose is to examine the family from the paradigm of a distinct occupational subculture and, substantiating that existence, to understand the implications of work-family role conflict of the military family. The objectives are to substantiate the military as an occupational subculture and explore military work and family conflict through participative observation techniques and, to a lesser extent, thematic analysis. The research questions are "Is the military an occupational subculture?", and "How does the work-role of the service member affect the family?" A pilot survey instrument based on the seven tenets of an occupational subculture (Trice, 1993) was developed to ascertain the level of subcultural affiliation of the respondents. In total, 78 members of the military (Army) were interviewed using the instrument. Examination of thematic responses from spousal surveys complement the overall analysis. The findings indicate a strong affiliation within the Army that would support the supposition that the Army is an occupational subculture. Respondents exhibited affiliation with all seven tenets above the 75% level that had been established as a benchmark. Taken together, thematic analysis of spouse perceptions viewed through a subcultural paradigm, and service members interviews, converged to demonstrate the probability of the military as a distinct occupational subculture. As such, the military has the capability to influence members and their families through infrastructure (both formal and informal), social, and perceptive requirements. Subcultural forces may provide powerful conformance tools for the membership. Obvious implications for acknowledging the uniqueness of the military family as a distinct subculture within American society are important. To retain a viable fighting force, Army family policy must be responsive and understanding of the military family entity. Preliminary results indicate that further exploration of the military with a subcultural perspective could enhance soldier readiness. Further studies should focus on the military family as the primary support mechanism for soldiers serving in the modern military. Additional study on families leaving the military to a civilian environment would provide insight into the mechanics of subcultural transitions.
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