Exploring the effectness of the use of social media during deployment within military families: the case of Ba-Phalaborwa District Municipality, Limpopo Province in South Africa

Mogale, Katlego
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The deployment of soldiers on peacekeeping missions or to secure national borders has the potential to threaten the sustainability of military families, often leading to fragmentation of the family unit, However, the advent of social media may provide a solution for easier and more open communication. An exploratory qualitative research study was undertaken to acquire an understanding of the communication challenges faced by South Africa soldiers and their families from the Ba-Phalaborwa district municipality, Limpopo province were identified and recruited using purposive sampling and snowball sampling. the sampling process yielded a total of 14 soldiers and their dependents. The sample comprised soldiers and the dependents' of soldiers who had been deployed within the past 24 to 36 months, either internally or externally, for a period of six months and longer. The inclusion criteria were males and females from 18 to 60 years of age. Semi-structured interviews, aided by an interview guide, were conducted with 14 soldiers and their dependents, and were then analysed thematically using Thomas' (2006) steps of qualitative data analysis and verified according to Guba and Lincoln's data verification strategies (Guba & Lincoln, 1981). Relevant ethical principles were applied throughout the process of this study.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts in Social Work, 2021