Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon

Committee Members

Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, Mitsunori Misawa, Laura Wheat


The purpose of this autoethnographic dissertation is to examine the experiences of one child growing up in a military family. The research depicts the experience of power and gender as communicated through my own narrative as the daughter of a United States Marine. My father served in the United States Marine Corps for 27 years, although my experiences depicted in this study are specific to his years of active duty service during my childhood (1981-1992). I maintained a reflexive journal through the data collection process to ensure optimal personal data collection. Examples of the personal data collected includes family photographs, journals, and writing prompts; additionally, I used field notes and data collected through interviewing my immediate family to create an evocative story of my personal experiences as a military child. A thematic analysis revealed three overarching themes throughout the narrative: family, structure, and silence. As cultural studies research, this exploration offers a glimpse into military culture from the perspective on one military child. My stories give voice to my experiences transitioning to new schools and new communities while managing the challenges of varying cultural norms and familial expectations. This study is written for readers to engage with the stories and understand the complexities of one military child’s experiences.

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