New Article: Yair, Israeli Existential Anxiety

Yair, Gad. “Israeli Existential Anxiety: Cultural Trauma and the Constitution of National Character.” Social Identities (online first, early view).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13504630.2014.1002390

 

Abstract

The present paper extends recent studies of national character – suggesting that the Israeli case revolves around a set of deep cultural codes which constitute various empirical manifestations. Broadening on this re-emerging paradigm, the study provides a specific case study of a major trait of Israeli national character, namely existential anxiety and fear of annihilation. It does so while advancing the idea that cultural trauma sets a context for Israeli national character. The analysis shows that Israelis constantly reference persistent and endemic existential fears of annihilation. They do so while tying together four levels: the mythological predicament, historical evidence, contemporary threats and future risks.

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