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An investigation of the relationship between National Armies and the concept of national identity with particular reference to Army recruitment campaigns in Germany and Britain

Boehmker, Katharina (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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In the recent histories of Britain and Germany there has been a strong relationship between the military as a national institution and the concept of national identity, although in very different ways. This is because of the two nations’ experiences of the Second World War which, though military in nature, were shared by the entire population. This thesis aimed to investigate whether recent changes in international relations have affected this bond. Different research methods were employed to compare findings from this case study with existing literature: content analysis was used to investigate the different recruitment strategies of the British military and the Bundeswehr, while questionnaires recorded reactions to these adverts by members of the target group and also established current attitudes towards the nation and the military. This was followed by in-depth interviews with current and former members of the military in both countries in order to examine diachronic changes in attitudes. The thesis concludes that although national identity amongst young people still serves as a form of identification, the decision to make the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ for the nation is largely determined by self-interested considerations rather than a strong sense of national loyalty.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Sayner, Joanne
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of German Studies
Subjects:PD Germanic languages
U Military Science (General)
DA Great Britain
DD Germany
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1577
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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