Meaningfulness and Coherence? Experiences Among Young Soldiers in the Swedish Armed Forces
Keywords:Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Identity, Meaning & Culture, Labor Market Institutions & Social Partners, Organization & Management
The twofold aim of the present study was to try to understand why young recruits to the Swedish Armed Forces chose a military career rather than a civilian one, and how their expectations were met when confronted with the realities of life as a soldier or marine. The study material consisted of 57 interviews with 37 young recruits; the interviews were carried out at units representing different branches of the Armed Forces. The interviews were semi-structured, transcribed, and categorized. It was found that the desire to remain employed as a soldier or marine in the Swedish Armed Forces is based on a set of individual and organizational factors: the selection process, the sense of meaningfulness and organizational coherence, the safety offered, and the salutogenic nature of military working life. The recruits are part of a system that offers good work conditions in return for taxing and stressful work assignments.
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