The purpose of this study is to uncover identity shaping in women of the military. I interviewed eleven women from various branches of the military to uncover changes in their sense of self, emotion management, and role person merge. Six of these my respondents were deployed to combat zones. The women of this study went to basic training and learned how to be a soldier. They go through a process of "manning up" where they leave behind prior behaviors and beliefs and display a masculine front in order to be successful in their military careers. They also demonstrate a role person merge from their prior lives to post reintegration from the military. Combat deployed soldiers displayed a much stronger role person merge after their military career. Lastly, I found women implement specific emotion management strategies in order to cope with the stress of being in the military by turning to family, friends, exercise, and other soldiers.


Emily M. Boyd

First Committee Member

Tamara Wilkins

Second Committee Member

Vicki Hunter

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology and Corrections


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.