Folk models of dyadic male bonds in Israeli culture

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This article explores the phenomenology of dyadic male bonds in Israeli culture, based on a secondary analysis of friendship narratives derived from a sample of Israeli-Jewish men. Two folk models of male friendships are delineated, situated in local images of hegemonic masculinity in Zionist ideology. The first model is the hevreman style of relatedness, underscoring sociability and adventure seeking. It endorses "cool" sharing involving nonverbal modes of communication and physical support. The countermodel is "intellectual" relatedness, stressing the exchange of ideas and "soul talk." It endorses psychologistic support and the verbal articulation of emotions. These tropes are discussed in comparative context. Against the dominant psychological-feminist paradigm of "being" versus "doing," it is argued that experiences of male intimacy are richer than overriding stereotypes of male inexpressivity suggest. The article calls for an attentive use of folk models in the sociology of emotions, taking into account the effect of hegemonic meaning systems. Rather than viewing emotional behavior, gender stereotypes, and ideology as separate features in the study of emotions, it underscores how emotional experience is dependent on cultural-interpretative processes nested, in local and global social norms, collective history, and gendered ideology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-72
Number of pages26
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


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