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Dialogic Moments

From Soul Talks to Talk Radio in Israeli Culture

Tamar Katriel

Publication Year: 2004

The vision of communication as authentic dialogue, as the mutual communion of souls, has animated a great many twentieth century discussions of language and communication, both in scholarly writings and in various forms and contexts of popular culture. In its various manifestations, this communicative utopia has identified dialogue or conversation as a locus of authenticity of both individuals and groups. This study traces the ways in which this utopian vision of communication has played itself out in the particular context of Israeli society through the twentieth century, encapsulating central trends in the evolving Israeli cultural conversation over the years. In this sense, it is a historically-situated study of the cultural fluctuations of a given society in all its particularity. In another sense, however, it seeks to offer a more general statement about the culturally constructed nature of the quest for authenticity as a project of modernity by focusing on conceptions of communication and language as its quintessential loci.” —From the Introduction by Tamar Katriel

Published by: Wayne State University Press

Series: Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

Like all books, this book owes a great deal to a great many people. It is not only a book about dialogue but also the product of my own dialogue with persons and texts. I am grateful to all those who gracefully accepted my rather slippery role as auto-ethnographer and joined me in probing implicit dimensions of meaning that are part of our shared cultural world. ...

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Introduction: The Social Life of Dialogue

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pp. 1-28

The vision of communication as authentic dialogue, as the mutual communion of souls, has animated many twentieth-century discussions of language and communication. In its diverse manifestations, both in scholarly writings and in various forms of vernacular culture, this communicative utopia has identified dialogue, ...

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1. Community of Dialogue: Soul Talks in Israeli Pioneering Ethos

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pp. 29-138

The desolate, gloomy-looking, tent-shaped monument perched on top of a mountain overlooking the Lake of Galilee a little south of Tiberias can no more than suggest the depths of the human drama it was designed to commemorate. Today most Israelis are unfamiliar with the story of the group of twenty-six young pioneers who inhabited the work camp ...

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2. Confrontational Dialogues: The Rise and Fall of Dugri Speech

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pp. 139-230

The image of the straight-talking Sabras, the sons and daughters of the Zionist pioneers discussed in the previous chapter, has occupied a central place in Israeli nation-building mythology.1 The term “Sabra,” which literally denotes a local cactus bush and its thorn-covered fruit, was applied metaphorically to Jewish children born in Palestine during the British Mandate ...

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3. Airwaves Dialogues: The Cultural Politics of Personal Radio

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pp. 231-324

The increasingly important contribution of the media as a key agent in shaping the speech economies of contemporary societies is widely recognized. Anthropologist Debra Spitulnik has highlighted the fruitfulness of studying media-related language use within an ethnography of communication perspective: ...

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Conclusion: Writing against the Text

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pp. 325-338

This book chronicles the role of the quest for “authentic dialogue” in the Israeli dream of communal solidarity, as well as the souring of such dialogue in the shifting context of Israeli society through the twentieth century. My focus has been on the role played by culturally focal ways of speaking and speech occasions in shaping and reflecting this process. ...


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pp. 339-362


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pp. 363-378


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pp. 379-4385

Back Cover

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pp. 394-394

E-ISBN-13: 9780814337509
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814327746

Page Count: 402
Publication Year: 2004

Series Title: Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology
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OCLC Number: 643945352
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Dialogic Moments

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Subject Headings

  • Oral communication -- Israel -- History.
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