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How do sociodemographic characteristics influence UK civilian opinions of UK armed forces Iraq and Afghanistan veterans? A mixed-method approach.

Phillips, Rita H.; Burgess, Mark; Connelly, Vincent

Authors

Mark Burgess

Vincent Connelly



Abstract

Evidence suggests that UK veterans are seen as victims with concern for their perceived mental health needs. This study examined sociodemographic factors that contribute to victimizing conceptualizations of British Army Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. UK participants (N = 234) provided three word associations to 'British Army Iraq Veteran' and 'British Army Afghanistan Veteran' and answered sociodemographic questions. A multiple linear regression outlines that low national pride, mission opposition and higher levels of education predict elevated victimizing word associations. Narrative accounts from UK interviews (N = 21) suggest that participants who perceived the recent conflicts as illegitimate conceptualize veterans as passive, naïve actors who had to submit to the agency of the anthropomorphic described government. This allowed holding overtly appreciative though belittling attitudes toward veterans, while opposing the missions. To dissociate veterans from victimizing perceptions, better knowledge about service and justifications for deployments need to be provided. Study limitations, including over sampling of young adult females, are discussed.

Citation

PHILLIPS, R.H., CONNELLY, V. and BURGESS, M. [2022]. How do sociodemographic characteristics influence UK civilian opinions of UK armed forces Iraq and Afghanistan veterans? A mixed-method approach. Armed forces and society [online], Online First. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X211070321

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 27, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 15, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 15, 2021
Journal Armed forces and society
Print ISSN 0095-327X
Electronic ISSN 1556-0848
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X211070321
Keywords Veterans and society; Social attitudes; War and society; United Kingdom; Civil-military relations; Military culture; Psychology; Veterans
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1550927
Additional Information The accompanying file for this output contains a supplementary figure, which can be found at the end of the main text (pages 29-32).

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Publisher Licence URL
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).





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