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By Gerhard Kümmel

The contributions to this anthology in honor of the overdue army sociologist J??rgen Kuhlmann specialize in the soldier and his kin in the direction of the militia and in the direction of society. This person - association and person - society nexus is explored from diversified angles by means of diverse nationwide and overseas contexts. The chapters to this quantity hence support the tutorial in addition to the practitioner and the reader to higher comprehend the dynamics and the serious concerns during this soldier - army - society triangle.

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Extra resources for Armed Forces, Soldiers and Civil-Military Relations

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The verb underlines that culture is closely connected to practice and the acting agents. Therefore, culture should not be treated as a deliminatable, unchangeable rigid object. This broad definition of culture implies, that within the framework of this paper only an exemplary presentation of mission specific culture(s) and processes of identity building is possible. 3 The investigation of socio-cultural dimensions of German peacekeeping missions is based on the theory that practices typical for mission areas, values, norms, symbols and thought patterns of the soldiers constitute a subculture and “micro-culture” respectively (Hannerz 1992: 73–77) of the Bundeswehr.

3 ‘Best Dress’ A sub-unit commander decided to hold an ‘all ranks’ Christmas party for the members of his sub-unit, to which he invited his Commanding Officer. In order to ensure that there would be a suitable number of people present, he made it a ‘Scale A’ parade (everybody had to come, if they were not formally away). He also insisted in his daily orders on the sub-unit notice board that the men would wear ‘best dress’. The soldiers interpreted the event as an attempt by the sub-unit commander to provide himself with a vehicle with which to impress the Commanding Officer, and they were angry about it.

During the mission abroad the German soldiers are much more confronted with a foreign cultural experience due to the multinational composition of the camps, than due to contacts with the host population. For the time of the mission the camp is both a formal organization and a place of residence for the soldiers: Borders between the three areas of sleeping, free time and work merge or are partly no longer existing. At the same time there are clear dividing lines to the civil society both socially and geographically (Winslow 1997: 47).

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