Problem

Hero worship

Other Names:
Identification with heroes
Nature:
The worship of humans of extraordinary skill, strength and courage, or the eulogizing of the characters and way of life of the 'ante-Hellenic Age' or an early stage in history, occurs particularly after or during war or other conflict and forms part of an ideology of the race or group. In modern society general media techniques are used for the eulogizing of heroes. Hero worship may occur in the worship of ancestors and may include the practice of magical rites.
Background:
Hero worship traditionally takes the form of eulogizing literature, very often poems and sagas. Among primitive tribes these poems are oral; in more sophisticated society they are written and may be disseminated widely as a means of propaganda. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, Lenin was regarded as a hero; as in more recent times were Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevara.

In Japanese society there are certain characteristics of heroes. They are often of noble birth and endowed with charismatic qualities, they contribute to the general good of the nation or society, they often incur official disfavour, they meet death with calm resignation for the sake of glory, and they often leave behind farewell poems.

Incidence:
Commercial and political advantage is made of the modern hero. The young black basketball player who is idolized by sporting fans and the brilliant but unpredictable soccer anti-hero, through their product sponsorship arrangements, sell Nike shoes to respectable joggers and cult youth alike. Part of the hero identification is that brand ownership requires great (financial) sacrifice.
Broader Problems:
Idolatry
Demagoguery
Related Problems:
Superstition
Strategies:
Popularizing heroes
Subject(s):
Religious Practice Religion
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
21.02.1997 – 00:00 CET