Title: Blood, sweat and tears - shared bodily fluids, emotions and social identity in a Swedish military context

Authors: Camilla Kylin

Addresses: Karlstad University, SE-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden

Abstract: The current study highlights emotions, emotional regulation and social identity in a Swedish military context. It is based on interviews with 18 officers and soldiers, whose ranks ranged from private soldier to higher level officer. The interviewees were mainly from the army, of whom 15 were men and three were women. The study shows how physical, psychological and emotional experiences (metaphorically labelled as shared bodily fluids) play a crucial role in soldiers' social identity. As a result emotional experiences within a work group (here: military troop, or 'the military family') increase the social identity with that group (the in-group) and may contribute to conflicts with partners (close family members) because of the lack of corresponding shared emotional experiences. Additionally, it shows that external social threats, such as the general public's negative attitudes to the military, contribute to an increased social identity with the in-group.

Keywords: social identity; shared emotion; emotional experiences; emotional labour; emotional regulation; troops; socialisation; military profession; Sweden; male soldiers; female soldiers; external social threats; negative attitudes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2012.049521

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2012 Vol.5 No.2, pp.193 - 207

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 05 Oct 2012 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article