The bounded female voice in memorial ceremonies

Edna Lomsky-Feder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Using the Israeli case the aim of this paper is to problematize the male dominance of the memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers and to ask whether it is challenged by female voices. Analysis of 50 accounts of ceremonies (elicited from semi-structured observations) as performed in Israeli schools during the last decade reveals that the female voice is heard loudly and introduces a model of mourning ritual that competes with the heroic canonic memory. Yet this voice is not a subversive one, but rather follows the traditional role assigned for women by the male order and redefines the nation state. A new form of nationalism emerges that shifts its center of gravity from a warrior ethos to an ethos of suffering.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)293-314
Number of pages22
JournalQualitative Sociology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Collective memory
  • Female voice
  • Israeli society
  • Memorial ceremony
  • National identity


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