Socialization, Face Negotiation, Identity, and the United States Military

Maria Shpeer, William T. Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this study, we examine stories told about basic training in the United States military. We question how these experiences are related to stories told post-exit. We collected website stories (N = 100) and in-depth interviews (N = 18) for analysis. The theoretical underpinnings of socialization, face negotiation, and identity guided this analysis. We note three themes throughout these stories that suggest that (1) military members adopt facework strategies performed by drill sergeants, (2) these facework strategies are used after exit, (3) military socialization normalizes typically nonnormative behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-744
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020. (Maria Shpeer and William T. Howe). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd). Available at All rights reserved.


  • face negotiation
  • facework
  • identity
  • military culture
  • socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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