From 'Obligatory Militarism' to 'Contractual Militarism': Competing Models of Citizenship

Yagil Levy, Edna Lomsky-Feder, Noa Harel

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Since the 1973 War, the secular Ashkenazi middle-class groups, which traditionally had constituted the military's "backbone", have displayed a lack of enthusiasm to continue to bear the military burden, a phenomenon that was publicly portrayed as a "motivation crisis." We conceptualize this process as a shift from a "subjected militarism" that perceived military service as an unconditioned, mandatory national duty to a "contractual militarism," according to which military service is stipulated by the fulfillment of the individual's ambitions and interests, although it remained a formal obligation. Two sites of socializations-school memorial ceremonies and preparation for the military service-serve as mediating mechanisms between the structural, social change and the social agency. Both have been utilized by the dominant groups to re-shape the canon, military ethos in a manner that redefines their relations vis-à-vis the military in contractual terms.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)127-148
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

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