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Avoidance of Military Service in Israel

Exploring the Role of Discourse

Oren Livio

This study examines the use of the derogatory term mishtamtim (literally, 'shirkers') for Israeli citizens who do not serve in the military, as employed in a variety of widely circulating cultural texts and in several focus group discussions. I suggest that in addition to revealing and reflecting Israeli society's dominant views and opinions on military service and its relation to civil society, the inherent ambiguity of the mishtamtim label enables interlocutors to construct different notions of the Israeli collective, which are then translated into different patterns of inclusion and exclusion, hierarchies of citizenship, and disciplinary meas ures. In addition, the discursive construction of non-service as avoidance of participation in a symbolic, non-violent, civilianized, and benevolent contribution to the collective conceals the military's own tendency to discharge conscripts, as well as its inherently violent nature and the role that violence plays in providing the glue that keeps society together.

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Men and Boys

Representations of Israeli Combat Soldiers in the Media

Zipi Israeli and Elisheva Rosman-Stollman

In this article we examine the representation of combat soldiers in Israel through their media image. Using two major national Israeli newspapers, we follow the presentation of the Israeli combat soldier over three decades. Our findings indicate that the combat soldier begins as a hegemonic masculine figure in the 1980s, shifts to a more vulnerable, frightened child in the 1990s, and attains a more complex framing in the 2000s. While this most recent representation returns to a hegemonic masculine one, it includes additional, 'softer' components. We find that the transformation in the image of the Israeli soldier reflects changes within Israeli society in general during the period covered and is also indicative of global changes in masculinity to a certain extent. We conclude by analyzing two possible explanations: the perception of the threat and changes in the perception of masculine identity.

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(Not) Becoming the Norm

Military Service by Religious Israeli Women as a Process of Social Legitimation

Elisheva Rosman-Stollman

legitimation. While previous scholarship (e.g., Budaie-Hyman 2012 ; Rosman-Stollman 2009 ; Sela 2012 ) has treated the issue of religious female military service in the socio-religious context, the present article places it within a broader context

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Nina Leonhard

On 3 October 1990, the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic, in which about 2.5 million East German citizens served their country, was dissolved. Its personnel either was removed from military service, placed into early retirement, or integrated into the Bundeswehr after a two-year selection and examination process. Since then, the NVA has turned into an object of history with no immediate significance for contemporary German society—despite efforts of former NVA officers to change the official interpretation of 1989-1990. This article examines the processes of remembering and forgetting with regard to East Germany's military heritage since 1990, contrasting the Bundeswehr's politics of memory and “army of unity” ethos not only with the former NVA soldiers' vision of the past, but also with the East German population's general attitude towards their former armed forces.

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The Academic Reserve

Israel's Fast Track to High-Tech Success

Gil Baram and Isaac Ben-Israel

Why is Israel world-renowned as the ‘start-up nation’ and a leading source of technological innovation? While existing scholarship focuses on the importance of skill development during Israel Defense Forces (IDF) service, we argue that the key role of the Academic Reserve has been overlooked. Established in the 1950s as part of David Ben-Gurion’s vision for a scientifically and technologically advanced defense force, the Academic Reserve is a special program in which the IDF sends selected high school graduates to earn academic degrees before they complete an extended term of military service. After finishing their service, most participants go on to contribute to Israel’s successful high-tech industry. By focusing on the role of the Academic Reserve, we provide a broader understanding of Israel’s ongoing technological success.

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James Marten

served under the protection of fathers or other older relatives, and still others were indistinguishable from older soldiers. Cox is obviously concerned with the nature of boys’ military service, “about roles they played in the army, [the] cultural forces

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Editors’ Note

Threats to Academic Freedom

different sort of inequality, that of religious women who choose to perform military service instead of opting for alternative national service, which the Orthodox rabbinate insists that they should do. She views the changes in acceptance of Orthodox women

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Matthew Carey, Ida Nielsen Sølvhøj, Eve Monique Zucker, Younes Saramifar and Louis Frankenthaler

either being inducted into the military or serving in the reserves after having completed compulsory military service. The study is a strong and compelling academic treatment of the subject, but her work, more importantly, demonstrates that her

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Naomi Chazan, Morad Elsana, Ian S. Lustick, Sam Lehman-Wilzig, Gideon Rahat, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Daphne Inbar and Oren Barak

-Levy, who seek “to understand the meaning of the gendered encounter with the state as it is realized through military service” (25), provide evidence from 109 interviews that they conducted with Israeli women, aged 30–40, from diverse social backgrounds who

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Tair Karazi-Presler, Moti Gigi, Luis Roniger, Yossi Harpaz, Oded Adomi Leshem, Meir Elran, Dany Bahar and Yuval Benziman

women and the military by contrasting the experiences of lower- and middle-class women who served as secretaries. They show that the interviewees’ interpretations of their military service are shaped by the multi-level contracts and then examine the