Blood, sweat and tears - shared bodily fluids, emotions and social identity in a Swedish military context
by Camilla Kylin
International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion (IJWOE), Vol. 5, No. 2, 2012

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.

Online publication date: Thu, 27-Nov-2014

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