Emanating/continuing research

New PhD project

Cand.scient.anthr. Maj Hedegaard Heiselberg will conduct an anthropological study of how families of Danish veterans with post-deployment psychological problems experience and cope with these (2015-2017). The position is funded by the national Veteran Center and is part of a larger research program on veteran families. Birgitte Refslund Sørensen is project supervisor.

New grant

Birgitte Refslund Sørensen has been awarded DKK 240.787 by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation's International Network Programme for "The Anthropology of Contemporary Civil-Military Entanglements Network" (ACCME). The project is a collaboration among anthropologists working on contemporary transformations of civil-military relations in Denmark, Israel and Japan.

Workshops on civil-military entanglements

The ACCME network’s first workshop took place in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 27-28, 2015.

The workshop included panels on:

  • “Changing civil-military relations”
  • “Families, spouses and military institutions”
  • “Ideals of soldiering and civil commitment”
  • “Beyond (national) militaries”
  • “Experiences of soldiers and soldiering”
  • “Negotiating citizenship, resources and rewards”
  • “Studying civil-military entanglements”

Birgitte Refslund Sørensen presented the paper “The Invisible Uniform: Civil-military relations in everyday life”; Mads Daugbjerg presented “Reviving the Viking: Charting Danish ‘activism’ and new warrior ideals on the home front”, and the title of Thomas Randrup Pedersen’s paper was “When Fighting Monsters: Moral Breakdowns in the Shadows of the Soldier’s Soul”

On a half-day excursion, workshop participants experienced how civil-military relations are inscribed in Israel’s geographical and social landscape. ACCME’s next workshop will take place in Copenhagen, November 4-5, 2015.

New collaborative projects

From military to civilian careers: Birgitte Refslund Sørensen has been involved in the development of two new projects that focus on veterans’ transition from a military to a civilian career (2015-2016).

One project targets veterans with PTSD or severe psycho-social challenges, and is implemented by The Danish Disability Sport Information Centre.

The other project focuses on army leavers who only have military experience and competencies, and is implemented by Care Consulting. She and Matti Weisdorf, research assistant, are responsible for the projects’ research component and evaluation.

Veterans are fellow human beings and not clients: The Danish YMCA’s soldiers mission (KFUM’s soldatermission) has opened a number of homes for veterans, who are challenged in their homecoming process, where they can find temporary accommodation and a supportive social environment. Two master students, Amalie Andersen and Sara Ottosen, have conducted ethnographic field research at two homes under the supervision of Birgitte Refslund Sørensen. Their research will result in an evaluation report for YMCA and in two master theses.