Identity, Motivation and Memory: The Role of History in the British and German Forces

1st Edition

Sarah Katharina Kayss

Published August 10, 2018
Reference - 214 Pages - 33 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138589155 - CAT# K386627
Series: Routledge Studies in the Sociology of Work, Professions and Organisations


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This book explores the connection between British and German officer cadets’ perceptions of the past and their motivations for enlisting in the military forces in the United Kingdom and Germany. Drawing upon qualitative interviews and survey data conducted at officers’ academies in the UK and Germany, the author offers a comparative analysis using differing approaches towards history and memory in Britain and Germany, while considering the roles of individual goals and societal orientations in the decision to enlist. Employing the notion of pragmatic professionalism, which reflects the fact that occupational and institutional reasons for enlisting are not opposite points on a single scale, Professionalism, Memory and Identity examines history-orientated reasons for enlistment by shedding light on officer cadets’ values, beliefs and wider cultural understandings of the past. With attention to differences in motivation as a result of differing national backgrounds and former military training, as well as the extent to which these divergences contribute to the emergence of different types of soldiers in the two countries, this comparative, international study will appeal to scholars of sociology, politics and war studies with interests in the military profession and the role of history in contemporary Britain and Germany.

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