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Worn symbols and their role in the military – a study of their effects and perceived value in the French army
Swedish Defence University.
2023 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Burna symboler och deras roll inom militären - en intervjustudie av deras effekter och upplevda värde inom den franska armén (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This study aims to explore the perceived value and effect of symbols worn in the military. Since uniforms create uniformity, symbols are one of the few ways individuals can distinguish themselves. These symbols hold more value than just a piece of fabric which serves a practical purpose. Within the Swedish armed forces, this has given rise not only to debates but also incidents regarding the trials in which these symbols are earnt. However, contemporary research on the topic remains limited. Through an interpretive applied-theory approach, using Anthony King's theory as a framework for analyzing empirical data collected from interviews with officers and cadets within the French foreign legion, army, special forces, and infantry several discoveries were made. 

Symbols used beyond organizational necessity could be linked to both positive effects such as cohesion, trust, motivation, and pride, as well as negative effects such as shame, exclusion, and prejudice. The study indicates that symbols are often valued based on two concepts: distinction and difficulty in obtaining it. By better understanding the case in the French army, the study contributes to existing research by providing an outline of the area for continued research and a clearer way forward for practical applications of symbols in the military. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. , p. 43
Keywords [en]
Symbols, cohesion, shame, motivation, military culture, uniform, professionalism.
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11589OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-11589DiVA, id: diva2:1765976
Subject / course
War Studies, Thesis
Educational program
Officersprogrammet (OP)
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2023-08-04 Created: 2023-06-12 Last updated: 2023-08-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf