Prof. Edna Lomsky-Feder

Prof. Edna Lomsky-Feder

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Prof. Gad Yair
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Last update: 12-Feb-2012
Full Time Faculty, Sociology of Education , Associate Professor / Reader

About Me

I am a qualitative sociologist in the School of Education at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Throughout my career I am interested in the links between agents and society as manifested through the interplay between individual and collective identity, private and social biography, and personal and national memory. In exploring these issues over the years, I have chosen to study three potentially crisis-laden transitional states -- youth, war and migration -- in which the encounter between individual and society is intensified.

My doctoral research was a study of the experience of war. In particular, I analyzed life stories of Israeli men on the cusp of adulthood who had fought in Israel's standing army in the Yom Kippur War. I later continued in a vast research with Prof. Tamar Rapoport investigating the immigration stories of young Russian students at the Hebrew University. We are currently compiling our theoretical insights and writing a book, Reading National Ethos: Homecoming and Russian Immigrants, which we are due to complete this year.

Current Research Projects

Memorial and Graduation Ceramonies in Israeli Schools

Hoping to broaden my research perspective on memory, I began to study memorial ceremonies in schools, taking them to be a site of encounter between the state and civil society, which has been producing new and competing models of nationalism. This led me to develop the concept of traumatic nationalism, which emerges in conditions of post-nationalism, as a model of nationalism that exists alongside the canonic model, namely that of heroic nationalism.
In order to broaden my observation on the ceremonial sphere in Israel, I am also collecting small ethnographies of Graduation ceremonies in schools. I try to observe how these ceremonies construct youth identities, and how they interplay with the 'traumatic nationalism'.
In the upcoming year I intend to complete a manuscript on these issues.

The Place of Military Service in the Lives of Young Israeli Women

I have recently started a research project together with Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy (Bar-Ilan University), which incorporates my various fields of interest

Management of Diversity in the IDF

This project is in collaboration with Prof. Eyal Ben-Ari, an anthropologist from the Hebrew University. Joined by our research group we have collected empirical material through interviews and observations at various military units. The particular contribution of this project lies in its anthropological observation of diversity management, which enables us to examine dimensions that the literature has not yet dealt with, in particular the study of processes of negotiation, growth, institutionalization and change; the multiplicity of contexts within the military organization; and the place of agency in individual and group behavior within the army. We are currently processing the materials and are set to write a book on the subject.