Producing soldier boy: sperm donation discourse and militarism in Israeli media culture

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Abstract

In this paper I examine the ways in which public discourse about the sperm donation industry in Israel, as appearing in mass media and advertising culture, bridges militarist, pro-natalist, and neoliberal ideologies. In constructing the sperm produced by combat soldiers as superior and in emphasizing the potential dangers of inferior sperm or the lack of enough sperm to meet demand, mainstream media and sperm banks adopt, utilize, and exploit a culture of fear that is linked to Israel’s perceived existential threat in order to serve their own commercial goals. At the same time, the tensions between national-collective and individual perceptions of gender and body occasionally rise to the surface, with media simultaneously embracing and questioning dominant cultural narratives concerning masculinity and militarism. Implications of the relations between media discourses of blood, sacrifice, and death, and those of sperm, reproduction, and cultural regeneration are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 May 2018

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Sperm donations
  • discourse analysis
  • media culture
  • militarism
  • neoliberalism

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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