Living liminal lives: Army partners’ spatiotemporal experiences of deployment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


The emotional cycle of deployment theorized by Logan and adapted by Pincus, House, Christenson, and Alder is often applied by academics and military support agencies to define, explain, and provide advice on the experiences and possible emotional reactions of military families during phases of deployment. Interviews with army partners showed that spatiotemporal experiences and perspectives are more complex than those afforded by the emotional cycle of deployment. This article argues that applying the concept of liminality uncovers some of this complexity, illuminating the in-between times experienced during deployments that are otherwise hidden. Army partners move through and between deployments and deployment phases haunted by specters of past and future deployments. By disrupting seemingly chronological and discrete spatiotemporal narratives, which often frame research on military families and deployment, this article demonstrates how army partners move through and between deployments and deployment stages negotiating past and future deployments. It shows how they continuously adapt and evolve practices while negotiating interpreted pasts and imagined futures in pursuit of becoming “ideal”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-608
Number of pages20
JournalArmed Forces & Society
Issue number3
Early online date3 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • sociology
  • deployment
  • liminality
  • army partners
  • postdeployment
  • family issues

Cite this