Date of Graduation

Summer 2012

Degree

Master of Arts in Communication

Department

Communication

Committee Chair

Heather Carmack

Keywords

military culture, bereavement, death and dying, death in the military, narrative theory

Subject Categories

Communication

Abstract

Every year, many U.S. military families are affected by service-related deaths. However, little is known about how grief and bereavement processes are affected by military service and military culture. This study examines the experiences of military widows through qualitative, in-depth interviews. Each interview is analyzed according to narrative theory in order to understand how the participants understand their experiences with bereavement. From the data, four main themes emerge to explain how widows identify and make sense of widowhood and bereavement: (1) Shifting Identities, (2) Social Support, (3) Fractured Bereavement, and (4) (Un)Structuring Military Loss.

Copyright

© Erin Christine Wehrman

Campus Only

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