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Exploring the victimization of British veterans: comparing British beliefs about veterans with beliefs about soldiers.

Phillips, Rita Helena; Connelly, Vincent; Burgess, Mark

Authors

Rita Helena Phillips

Vincent Connelly

Mark Burgess



Abstract

Evidence suggests that most of the UK public appreciate currently serving UK Armed Forces personnel but are less positive in their beliefs about veterans. This research examined the social representations held by civilian participants of UK veterans and serving soldiers to understand why veterans may be seen more negatively. An open-ended word association task was completed by 234 UK participants where they were asked to provide three initial responses to the words “veteran” and “soldier” and to evaluate their responses in accordance to prototypicality. The 1,404 resultant associations were grouped into 14 thematic clusters. Using the hierarchical evocation method, the results suggest “heroizing associations” to be a defining core element for “soldier” and “veteran” but “victimizing associations” to be an element only for “veteran.” Principal component analyses suggest victimizing associations are related to war and deindividuated associations; “heroizing associations” are related to characterizations of the veteran’s personality. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Citation

PHILLIPS, R.H., CONNELLY, V. and BURGESS, M. [2020]. Exploring the victimization of British veterans: comparing British beliefs about veterans with beliefs about soldiers. Armed forces and society [online], OnlineFirst. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X20942244

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 24, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 21, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 21, 2020
Journal Armed forces and society
Print ISSN 0095-327X
Electronic ISSN 1556-0848
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X20942244
Keywords Veteran; Soldiers; Civil-military gap; Social representation theory; Structural approach
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/963262

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