Young metropolitan Anglo-Jewish masculinities: a qualitative interview study investigating intersectionality between Jewishness, Britishness, and masculinity
My thesis is an empirical study of young British Jews, exploring their experience of being Jewish, British, and male in society today given the fluid nature of each of these aspects of their identity. As society has changed over the last half century each of these aspects which had normative monocultural taken-for-granted expressions have been repeatedly deconstructed, examined and re-built, and I argue that in the process they have emerged as fluid entities. It is in negotiating these fluid aspects that today’s young male Jews ask, what does it mean to be a Jew, what does it mean to be British, and what does it mean to be male as they try to make sense of their lives. The method chosen for this study has been the in-depth interview which I conducted with a sample of 16 interviewees chosen to reflect the diverse range of religiosity, age and intellectual ability which is apparent in the heterogenous nature of the Anglo-Jewish community supplemented with a group discussion. I have produced an interview tool of overlapping coloured discs representing the three aspects I am studying as an aid for the interviewee to think and talk about themselves. I have transcribed the interviews and used constructionist thematic analysis to advance my argument. I argue that Jewishness is constructed between extremes of adherence to halachic requirement on one hand and a Jewishness experienced as cultural affinity to history, family, and tradition without recourse to halacha on the other hand. I argue that Britishness is being experienced between varying degrees of nationalistic localism against cosmopolitan liberalism played out against a backdrop of Britain contrasted with the rest of the world and also London against the rest of Britain. With regard to being male, I have rejected the view that masculinity is constructed in the inherently unstable terms of physicality against intellectualism. Instead, I argue that it is better considered as lying in a range between competitive hegemonic masculinity on the one hand against a cooperative model with which physicality and intellectualism can combine to produce a more stable and emotionally satisfying mode of living. I argue that young Jewish men inhabit a fluid three-dimensional matrix being aware of the pitfalls of particularism, xenophobia, and misogyny as they negotiate their relationships with their families, communities, and wider society to construct their Jewish British masculine identity.
Gender Jewish Identity Main Topic: Identity and Community Interviews Young Adults / Emerging Adulthood Youth National Identity
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Young metropolitan Anglo-Jewish masculinities: a qualitative interview study investigating intersectionality between Jewishness, Britishness, and masculinity. . 2022: https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-2529