Date of Award

Spring 6-10-2016

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no embargo, no restriction)

Work Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Charles Williams

Second Advisor

Caroline Hartse


This mixed-methods study addresses social construction of home and belonging for residents of a vice labor and military veteran class in Bremerton, Washington, a US military manufacturing and base city. This thesis seeks to explain how some workers and residents in the city of Bremerton, Washington have been historically marginalized, even as their roles, framed as patriotic contributions, have been integral to the socioeconomic efforts and successes of the dominant militarized culture. I explore how study participants make meaning of their experiences – some in gendered and sexualized vice labor in service to military and federal personnel, and some who negotiate social changes after their withdrawal from service in the military – within this community that privileges its military presence and facilities. Demographic data demonstrate the economic and social effects of the city’s federal alliance; many residents in the city’s rejuvenation area are not benefitting from an association with the socially enforced militaristic hegemony, either as service workers or as veterans of military service, despite their contributions to the city’s patriotic military alliance. In conflict with the dominant narrative, a sense of community and belonging play an important role in the lives of participants, indicated by how they view their social and labor contributions to the community, how they negotiate the social hierarchy of the community, and how they envision a future Bremerton that affords them fully applied legal, civil, and social citizenship. This study contributes to multidisciplinary discourses on urban studies, environmental psychology, internal colonialism, and class and gender theory.