From "silent generation" to cyber-psy-site, story and history: The 14th Tank Brigade battles on public collective memory and official recognition

Abstract

This audience research case study focuses on the Israeli 14th Tank Brigade veterans, who were involved in the 1973 Yom Kippur War horrific battles against the Egyptians in the Sinai Desert. In 2007, this offline traumatised remembrance community constructed an online commemorative and historical website to advance their unrelenting struggle on public recognition in the Israeli national collective memory and military history. The theoretical framework combines diverse perspectives: the Yom Kippur War and its consequences on Israeli society; theories of generations and media generations, war and trauma, war and remembrance; and Israel's collective memory and culture of remembrance. An integrated methodology offline and online was conducted: multi-sited and multimodal "Thick Description" ethnography and netnography; critical discourse analysis and semiotics of texts and artifacts; and in-depth interviews with veterans and historians. Findings are constructed on three levels: first - analysis of veterans’ interrelations with common Israeli culture of memory, and their active participation as a "remembrance community" in creating cultural artifacts offline and online; second – interpretation of Israeli cultural codes in battlefield "actuality", even under the most traumatic conditions; and third - the universal state level, analysis of the deep conflict impelling the remembrance community to write the Yom Kippur War battles also as history in their cybersite, thus attaining public recognition. This case study demonstrates the war veterans’ ability of "Breaking the Silence", empowering their traumatised community by bridging the "generation gap" of their "actual" "media generation", by merging their comradeship and high cultural capital, towards official affirmation within Israeli military history.

Bibliographic citation

Gal-Ezer, M. (2012). From "silent generation" to cyber-psy-site, story and history: The 14th Tank Brigade battles on public collective memory and official recognition. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 6(2), article 4. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5817/CP2012-2-4

Keywords

media generations; battle-trauma; remembrance community; digital memorialisation; cultural capital; netnography; multi-sited and multimodal ethnography

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