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Rick’s Cafe Presentation: Eric Hodges

Nov 27, 2017

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Presenter: Eric Hodges

Identifying and Tracing the Development of Military Cultural Norms among Veterans that Influence Civic Engagement


Recent studies (Kawashima-Ginsberg, 2015; Yonkman, 2009) have established a link between military veterans and increased civic engagement. Nascent literature (Matthieu, 2016) also suggests that civic engagement can play a positive role in veteran reintegration. Given those insights, this study asks the following research questions: Does the U.S. military develop cultural norms among veterans that influence civic engagement? If so, what are they? How are they developed? What role do those dispositions play in influencing veterans’ civic engagement?

This two-year study integrates mixed methods over three project phases. Phase 1 will be an ethnographic exploration of the impact of military culture on veteran identity conducted with a select group of veterans in Florida. First phase data will be collected through in-depth interviews and Photovoice, a participatory photography method. Thematic constant comparative coding will be utilized to identify and trace the development of cultural norms that influence civic behavior among veterans. The second phase of the project will focus on hypotheses and survey development based on the quotes, codes, and themes gathered from the qualitative findings. During Phase 3, we will administer a national survey through Qualtrics to a wide audience of civically engaged veterans, using multivariate regression to analyze the resulting data.