Identification with heroes
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.
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.
Heroes are a necessary part of the symbol system of any society. They inspire people to embody the best of a social system. They provide role models of individuals acting out the best values and expectations. They define what is good and significant in the society.