Ghosts and habitus: The lasting hegemony in Israeli theatre

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The article asks why the Israeli theatre’s ‘voicing hegemony’ practices endure despite a critical public debate that favors cultural pluralism. Ethnographies at two central repertory theatres elicit the meanings of the theatre’s ‘back-to-the past’ institutional habitus, as revealed in observations and in-depth interviews with actors, and disclose artistic dispositions that bolster veteran actors’ stature in the theatre and Israeli art generally. Analysis of the findings links professional capital with the twilight of an artist’s theatrical career. One conclusion connects the theatrical habitus with justification of Israel’s Zionist ideology. Theoretically, the article illuminates the historical component of the Bourdieuian concept of habitus. The duplication of this component in the back-to-the-past habitus inheres to mythification processes and makes the theatrical habitus relatively resilient to social changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-189
Number of pages22
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.


  • Bourdieu
  • Cultural hegemony
  • Ghosts
  • Institutional habitus
  • Modern theatre
  • Professional capital


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