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Towards a total occupation: A study of UK Merchant Navy Officer cadetship.

Gould, Elizabeth Alison 2010. Towards a total occupation: A study of UK Merchant Navy Officer cadetship. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis presents a study of UK Merchant Navy Officer cadetship. The study was conceived in the context of both a declining UK shipping fleet and seafaring workforce, and prompted by the lack of research on the experiences of UK seafarer officer cadets. The initial purpose of the study was to understand the experiences in training of Merchant Navy Officer cadets through their own voices. The need to understand the impact of recent UK Government policy initiatives connected to Merchant Navy cadetship became a further motivation. As data collection and analysis progressed, interviewee and questionnaire data on the cadet experience were combined with three further data-strands using a mixed methods approach. The reflexive methodology permitted the interactive linking and patterning of the data-strands, realised in the narrative representation of cadetship. Two further research outputs are: a concise set of descriptors of the experience of seafarer officer cadets and, the construct of 'total occupation' used as a generic window through which to (re)view cadetship and seafaring. The study found that for most cadets entry into training was a positive process in which they saw the Merchant Navy as having specific attractions. Their ship-board experiences varied with each unique combination of voyage, ship, officers, and crew. For some cadets, the overall experience of training was rewarding. However there were others who had experiences of distress some of those went on to resign from training, and suffered a sense of failure and disappointment. All cadets interviewed in the study displayed ambivalence in varying degrees towards aspects of the seafaring experience, notably its 'totalness'. The study findings suggest that structural determinants of the cadet experience were open to individual agency in which a sense of calling and tradition were factors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: V Naval Science > V Naval Science (General)
ISBN: 9781303218774
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:31

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