Reserve soldiers as transmigrants: Moving between the civilian and military worlds

Edna Lomsky-Feder*, Nir Gazit, Eyal Ben-Ari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


This article suggests a new perspective for examining the particular social and organizational characteristics of military reserves forces and the special experiences of serving in the reserves. To illustrate the unique social position of reservists, the authors develop a theoretical model that likens them to transmigrants. Accordingly, the authors suggest that society may benefit from looking at reserves both as sorts of social and organizational hybrids or amalgams-they are soldiers and civilians, they are outside yet inside the military system, and are invested in both spheres-and as continual migrants journeying between military and civilian spheres. The authors end by suggesting that it may be fruitful to study three segments of the military, each of which has its own dynamics: regulars, conscripts, and reserves. This differentiation allows society to examine different patterns of motivation, cohesion, political commitment and awareness, and long-term considerations that characterize each segment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)593-614
Number of pages22
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Civil-military relations
  • Reserve Service
  • Reserves
  • Transmigrants


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