Socialization, Face Negotiation, Identity, and the United States Military

Maria Shpeer, William T. Howe


In this study, we examine stories told about basic training in the United States military. We question how these experiences are related to stories told post-exit. We collected website stories (N = 100) and in-depth interviews (N = 18) for analysis. The theoretical underpinnings of socialization, face negotiation, and identity guided this analysis. We note three themes throughout these stories that suggest that (1) military members adopt facework strategies performed by drill sergeants, (2) these facework strategies are used after exit, (3) military socialization normalizes typically nonnormative behavior.


socialization, military culture, facework, face negotiation, identity

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