Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The lived experience of being a European wife to a U.S. Marine: A heuristic study
by Douville, Suzan, Ph.D., Capella University, 2014, 203; 3615555
Abstract (Summary)

An abundance of research has focused on the challenges of being married to a military member and the stressors associated with leading a military lifestyle. These studies report on the perspectives of American military spouses who are often faced with taking on multiple roles in order to create some stability within a not so stable military environment. Likewise, a wealth of studies has illustrated the many stressors associated with acculturation into a new country from a foreigner's perspective. However, there is a distinct population that has been greatly underrepresented in literature, namely the foreign military wife who is exposed to both experiences at once - being a foreigner and being a military spouse. Hence, this qualitative study delved into the lives of nine European wives of U.S. Marines in order to illuminate their lived experience. The methodology used for the study was Moustakas's heuristic research design which brought forth the essence of the experience of being a European military spouse by employing collaborative work between the researcher and her participants. The study found that foreign military wives go through an acculturative process that cannot be compared to foreigners who are not military affiliated. The lived experience of being a European wife to a Marine involves past and ongoing adjustments to the United States and the military lifestyle, during which the foreign wife struggles to keep a balance between finding her place in the United States while desperately trying to stay connected to her native roots. Therefore, rather than going through a healthy process of acculturation wherein both cultures are equally accepted, participants in this study continue to be lost between the two cultures and confused about where they fit in. Implications of study results are further discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Martyn, Marial
Commitee: Kostere, Kim, Overman, Rick
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: European Studies, Social psychology, Individual & family studies, Military studies
Keywords: Acculturation, Culture shock, European, Foreigner, Marine corps, Military spouse
Publication Number: 3615555
ISBN: 9781303815751
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