The intergenerational hero: Carrier of a bonding memory

Efrat Ben-Ze’ev*, Edna Lomsky-Feder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present era of fragmentation and instability, there is an urge to recreate “islands of solidarity,” sometimes by establishing what we define as “intergenerational heroes.” They are expected to carry a bonding memory, interpreting the past in light of present challenges and future dreams. The media fashions the role of these heroes following their death. By examining the reportage of Haim Guri, a prominent Israeli poet, we decode the character of the intergenerational hero. Through a qualitative analysis of articles and visual images, we discovered four qualities: First, he embodies a generational foundational event, drawing moral authority from having “been there.” Second, he establishes strong bonds with other generational units. Third, throughout his life he is immersed in public events, and fourth, he is portrayed as consisting of inherently contradictory traits that attract a variety of audiences. We conclude by considering the “shelf life” of the intergenerational hero.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1264-1279
Number of pages16
JournalMemory Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • Israel-Palestine
  • bonding memory
  • cultural heroes
  • generational unit
  • intergenerational hero
  • memory carriers


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