Absent Brother: Military Friendship and Commemoration

  • Danny Kaplan
Part of the Cultural Sociology book series (CULTSOC)


The final case study deals with a form of sociability more readily associated with national solidarity: military friendships and commemoration rituals. The chapter explores the manifestation of the meta-narrative of strangers-turned-friends in the public staging of personal bonds between soldiers and in grassroots campaigns for Israeli soldiers missing in action. Moral values of military friendship extend to expanding circles of solidarity in Israeli society, such as schoolchildren and commercial entrepreneurs who expressed feelings of familiarity and loyalty to soldiers they have never met. Identification with missing soldiers merges two temporal dimensions of national solidarity, simultaneous time and mythic time, and highlights a symbolic shift from ties of friendship to bonds of brotherhood.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Gender Studies ProgramBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

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