From analytical focus to empirial object: Doing fieldwork among children in Danish soldiers’ families

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Abstract

This article focuses on children’s reactions to military deployment from
the perspective of their parents. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among
Danish soldiers, their female partners and young children over the
course of military deployment, the article illustrates how parents’
attempts to access whether or not their children will suffer from the
long-term absence of their father influence parenting practices and
experiences of military deployment. Inspired by anthropological
perspectives on parenthood, the article argues that the pressure on
parents to be ‘involved’ in the upbringing and care of their children is
magnified in the case of soldiers and their partners because of
deployment. In order to prevent future harm on their children, the article
further argues, soldiers and their partners mobilise strategies to limit the
uncertainty experienced in relation to deployment. Such strategies
include preparing children for deployment, routinising everyday activities
and making the absence of their father comprehensible.
Translated title of the contributionFra analytisk fokus til empirisk objekt: Feltarbejde blandt børn i danske soldaterfamilier
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnography
ISSN1466-1381
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 2021

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