A model of military to civilian transition: Bourdieu in action

Linda Cooper, Nick Caddick, Lauren Godier-McBard, Alex Cooper, Matt Fossey, Hilary Engward

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


    Building on recent work that used the ideas of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu to construct a theoretical framework for considering military to civilian transition (MCT), this article introduces a practical approach to develop the use of this theory into an adaptable framework to explore factors that affect MCT. We have devised a model of MCT called the Model of Transition in Veterans (MoTiVe) to explore why an enduring attachment to the military exists for Veterans and to develop an understanding of how “looking back” on life events experienced in the military may cause difficulty for some in transition. We use Bourdieusian theory to consider the adjustment of military personnel back into civilian life, taking into account the importance of individual variances in socio-economic trajectories, life stories, and subsequent discrepancies between the norms of the military and civilian environments. We suggest that MoTiVe is a useful tool to reflect on how life experiences, both within and outside of the Armed Forces, affect the transition process, which can also be adapted to consider periods of transition in all walks of life
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3
    Pages (from-to)53-60
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Military, Veteran & Family Health
    Issue number2
    Early online date25 Sep 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


    • Bourdieu
    • Civilian
    • Identity military
    • Transition
    • Veterans


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