'Family Structure': Intractable Eurocentric Fantasies in Contemporary Israel

Yossi Yonah, Haggai Ram, Dalya Markovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article offers a critical study of the iteration and reiteration of Israel's national identity. Thus this study falls within a well charted research terrain. And like many studies falling within its purview, it is also intended to do more than just describe attempts to impose uniform collective identity on obdurate social and cultural diversity. It is intended to examine the national project as 'a form of cultural elaboration' entrapped within an insoluble predicament.While aiming at molding a homogeneous national collective out of social and cultural diversity, this project generates intricate dialectics involving practices of social inclusion and exclusion. These dialectics take on board often racial myths. We examine these dialectics and the racial myths associated with them vis-à-vis the iteration and reiteration of Israel's national identity. Aside from inculcating the belief among Israeli Jews that their identity is reflective of a common cultural heritage that reaches back to times immemorial, these myths also register a yearning to reconnect Israel with its lost European, 'Judeo-Christian' heritage. Conveying these aspirations, either covertly or overtly, these myths support and reconfirm existing social and racial hierarchies in Israeli society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-223
Number of pages27
JournalCultural Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2010


  • Israel
  • nationalism
  • race
  • racism
  • social hierarchies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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