Professorer og lektorer – Københavns Universitet

Institut for Antropologi > Ansatte > Professorer og lektorer

Veterans' homecomings: Secrecy and post-deployment social becoming

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

For Danish soldiers, returning from the battlefields and army camps of international operations to the tranquility of everyday life at home can be a challenging and unsettling experience. Homecoming is often particularly daunting for veterans who leave the army and are compelled to develop a new social identity and find a meaningful life in the civilian world. When doing so, they need to navigate an ambiguous political environment and emergent public imaginaries of the veteran while also wrestling with their own military socialization and personal experiences of war. The certainty previously provided the soldier by rank, function, and mission vanishes and translates into an imperative ontological question about possible veteran subjectivity. In this article I argue that the veterans’ struggle to create postdeployment, postmilitary social identities entails profound secrecy work where past experiences, present conditions, and future ambitions are embedded in webs of concealment, disclosure, exposure, deception, lying, silence, and so forth, only partially controlled by the veterans themselves. The intricacies and anxieties associated with secrecy work are discussed in relation to three veteran trajectories that reflect some of the possible positions that contemporary Danish veterans see for themselves in Danish society.
TidsskriftCurrent Anthropology
TidsskriftsnummerSupplement 12
Sider (fra-til)S231-S240
StatusUdgivet - 2015

ID: 137906212