Fathering Amidst the Call of Duty: Children’s Experiences in Military Families

  • Rajalakshmi SriramEmail author
  • Rituparna Sarkar


The first and foremost duty of a person, who chooses the military as his occupation, is expected to be protecting and guarding the nation. Once he has a child, automatically he is expected to take total responsibility to protect, support, shield and nurture the same. The paper draws attention to the impact of military life and deployment on children’s life focusing attention on the environment, frequent moves and father’s absence, with special focus on father’s role. We have used data from 60 boys and girls of grades 10 and 12 studying in Kendriya Vidyalaya whose father works in the Indian Army. This has been complemented by interviews with other fathers, who have had military experience and children who experienced high mobility (3 to 8 moves in 15 years) and father’s absence for selected periods. The paper highlights the ways in which fathers maintain their link with the child while being away, busting the myth of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Narratives from a few fathers who have worked in the military sector have been used, to illustrate these various dimensions, indicating that his love and care play a significant role in overcoming all the odds in children’s life.


Military father Fathering in India Impact of deployment on children Children’s notions of fathering 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesM.S. University of BarodaVadodaraIndia
  2. 2.Active +AucklandNew Zealand

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