From Defender to Offender: British Female Ex-Military Re-Joining Civilian Society

July, 2020

This chapter is part of the book Discourses We Live By: Narratives of Educational and Social Endeavour.


This chapter considers the problems that the ex-military experience when returning to civilian life. It examines the narratives of two female former soldiers who have committed offences, unable to sustain a productive role in the ‘real’ world where individuals have to create their own structures and relationships if they are to take control of their lives. This book is a rich and multifaceted collection of twenty-eight chapters that use varied lenses to examine the discourses that shape people’s lives. The contributors are themselves from many backgrounds – different academic disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, diverse professional practices and a range of countries and cultures. They represent a broad spectrum of age, status and outlook, and variously apply their research methods – but share a common interest in people, their lives, thoughts and actions. Gathering such eclectic experiences as those of student-teachers in Kenya, a released prisoner in Denmark, academics in Colombia, a group of migrants learning English, and gambling addiction support-workers in Italy, alongside more mainstream educational themes, the book presents a fascinating array of insights.

Full Reference

Cooper, L., 2018. From defender to offender: ex-military re-joining civilian society. In: Wright, H., and Hoyen, M. (Eds). Discourses We Live By: Narratives of Educational and Social Endeavour (Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2020),

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