I argue here for the relevance and importance of the study of nostalgia for political analysis. Focusing on the case of Israel, I propose that a study of nostalgia can yield, at least in the case at hand, insightful views of political reality that other approaches to the study of politics may fail to expose. Specifically, I focus on a nostalgia prevalent among the dominant Ashkenazi ethno-class, accompanied by a Mizrahi ‘counter’ nostalgia. I argue that these nostalgias tell us volumes – like other nostalgias can do – about the ways people and their socio-political groups understand their world and their place within it in the present and formulate their hopes for the future. In this, nostalgia proves to be an important part of the toolkit of the study of politics, alongside the study of political myth and symbols.
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- interpretive politics