The Localized Use of Language in Material Culture: A Case Study, a Kibbutz

  • Judith Yoel
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 36)


This examination of language use in the material culture of a single Israeli Kibbutz (a communal settlement) analyzes use of the local language, Hebrew, among bilingual and multilingual community members. It explores how the use of Hebrew has implications for the teaching of English as a foreign language. This study of artifacts reveals how the use of Hebrew functions as a marker of community identity, which comes to light in the study of public displays of ideology, as observed in murals and painted on benches, in objects associated with evolving naming practices, such as name plates hung on the front doors of members’ houses, and in memorials set in nature to commemorate deceased individuals. These artifacts are utilized in order to bridge the existing gap between the different generations of Kibbutz members, a gap that has arisen due to major reforms to the Kibbutz way of life. It is through material culture that this community selects, documents and establishes a collective memory, one that leaves physical evidence of disappearing collective values and asserts a Kibbutz identity.


Material culture Artifacts Kibbutz Collective memory 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Yoel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.English DepartmentOranim College of EducationKiryat Tiv’onIsrael
  2. 2.Gordon Academic College of EducationHaifaIsrael

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