A1 Journal article (refereed)
Finnish Military Officer Identities and Micro-Political Resistance (2021)

Kouri, S. (2021). Finnish Military Officer Identities and Micro-Political Resistance. Armed Forces and Society, Ahead of Print. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327x211054116

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kouri, Suvi

Journal or series: Armed Forces and Society

ISSN: 0095-327X

eISSN: 1556-0848

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 04/12/2021

Volume: Ahead of Print

Publisher: SAGE Publications

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327x211054116

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78939


Drawing on the concept of micro-political resistance, this article presents an empirical analysis of how officers of the Finnish Defence Forces challenge, resist, and reinforce the collective military identities constructed within the prevailing organizational discourses. There is a need for identity work to meet the norms and ideals of the military, but individuals can also work as change agents. Micro-political resistance derives from feelings of otherness as well as conflict between the dominant organizational identities and individuals’ personal interests. This study presents a thematic discourse analysis based on texts written by 108 officers and 12 interviews on the theme of “the ideal soldier.” Three main discourses of micro-political resistance were identified: perceiving the profession of a military officer as a job like any other rather than a sacred calling, putting family first, and being oneself instead of embodying the traditional masculine ideal soldier.

Keywords: military personnel; officers (military personnel); identity (mental objects); professional identity; social identity; gender roles; social norms; discourse analysis

Free keywords: military organization; gender issues; ideal soldier; identity work; military identity; micro-political resistance

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Ministry reporting: No, publication in press

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:29