Children, military families and soldier citizenship
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Service in the armed forces has long been associated with ideas of citizenship but these have often been associated with serving, male personnel. We argue that ideas of military citizenship should extend to other, non-serving family members because of the expectations placed on them by the armed forces. In this article we focus on the lives of children who have parents serving in the military. Drawing on the idea of everyday citizenship, we examine the impact of military service on children’s lives. Based on empirical evidence from young people living in a UK garrison city, we examine how the spaces of the home, school and recreational clubs shape their identities as service children and reflect different forms of citizenship. In doing so, we foreground children’s voices to counter commonly-held discourses of heroism or victimhood. We conclude that emotional geographies are significant to the formation of military citizenship, which extends well beyond that of the serving man or woman.
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