First Advisor

Peter Collier

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Peace movements -- United States, Veterans -- United States, Military socialization -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 161 p.) : ill. (some col.)


Throughout the history of the United States (U.S.), there have been service members who, upon leaving the service, have spoken out against U.S. involvement in wars. The current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their increasing unpopularity, have contributed to this trend. Recently veterans have begun to come forward in larger numbers to speak out against the current wars and have self-identified as members of peace movements. The purpose of this research project was to explore veterans' understandings of the peace movement and their involvement in veterans' peace movement organizations. This study hoped to answer the following questions: 1) How does a veteran understand the current peace movement? 2) Which, if any, parts of the current peace movement does a veteran find to be in line with his or her own values? 3) What do veterans feel it means to be a veteran for peace? 4) How do veterans come to identify with the current peace movement? 5) How do veterans take a stand against the current peace movement? 6) What do veterans feel is gained by involvement in the peace movement? The study was conducted using a qualitative approach, and 27 interviews were conducted either face-to-face or over the phone with U.S. veterans from across the country, who have served since the Vietnam War. Veterans who were no longer serving in an active duty capacity were selected via a snowball sample of the researcher's circle of military colleagues and friends around the U.S. The identity of "veteran in the peace movement" is a complicated one, and the result of a long, complex, series of lived experiences. This study let participants describe the process of identity acquisition, or rejection in their own words in order to create a realistic and honest narrative about the emotional and mental processes, and life events that trigger or influence these, that influenced identification or not with a veterans' peace movement organization.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Sociology

Persistent Identifier