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Who joins the Canadian Forces? Developing a framework for analysis using Bourdieu, Habermas, and Giddens

TitleWho joins the Canadian Forces? Developing a framework for analysis using Bourdieu, Habermas, and Giddens
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMowat, V. Rose
Date PublishedMarch
UniversityUniversity of Saskatchewan
CitySaskatoon, SK
Keywordsaboriginals, bourdieu, canada, canadian forces, giddens, habermas, habitus, lifeworld, members, military, military sociology, profile, socioeconomic status, sociology, structuration, visible minorities, women

This thesis presents the results of an exploratory study aimed at developing an understanding of Canadian Forces demographics and linking those demographics to current bodies of sociological theory. The background and literature review provide a starting point for sociological analysis; the study begins with a detailed review of existing literature in Canadian and United States military sociology, utilizing an exploratory approach that incorporates key elements from Bourdieu's concepts of field and habitus, Habermas's lifeworld and structure, and Giddens's notion of structuration. Once the key sociological theories are isolated, research methods and methodologies are developed. Data are collected from the 2006 Canada Census and the demographics of Canadian Forces members are explored through a logistic regression model. Data are interpreted within a sociological framework based on an integration of select theories from Bourdieu, Habermas and Giddens. This research identifies weak relationships between demographic characteristics and CF membership, along with socioeconomic factors and Canadian Forces membership. The completed research provides a starting point for future analyses in Canadian military sociology. Given that demographic and socioeconomic factors demonstrate weak correlation with Canadian Forces membership, future studies can focus on the motivations of Canadian Forces members knowing that background characteristics do not predetermine service. Although the Canadian Forces is primarily composed of Caucasian males, this accounts for only a small portion of variance in the Canadian Forces membership variable.

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