Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

3-31-2015

Degree Program

Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

May

Advisor Name

Jennifer

Advisor Middle Initial

H.

Advisor Last Name

Lundquist

Co-advisor Name

Donald

Co-advisor Last Name

Tomaskovic-Devey

Third Advisor Name

Michelle

Third Advisor Last Name

Budig

Fourth Advisor Name

Sanjiv

Fourth Advisor Last Name

Gupta

Abstract

Scholars describe both the military and the family as “greedy institutions,” or institutions that require expansive time and energy commitments, and alter participants’ master status (Segal 1986; Coser 1974). However, the military’s employment benefits may counteract its greedy elements. I use data from the 2008 Survey of Active Duty Members to examine commitment to military employment in wartime, accounting for greedy elements of military service (such as geographic mobility, risk of bodily harm, and separations), job benefits, family structure, and gender. The results show that women in dual-service marriages, unmarried men, and those who experienced separations reported lower career commitment and affective organizational commitment. In contrast, the use of military job benefits was positively associated with commitment. Counterintuitively, parenthood, geographic mobility, and being stationed in Afghanistan were also positively associated with commitment. These findings complicate the military’s label as a greedy institution, and contribute to the literature on work-family conflict and gendered organizations.

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