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Date: 1997
Abstract: This paper examined stress among two groups of orthodox Jews suggested to differ in the strength of the boundary of their religious group. Comparisons were made between the two groups, and with urban and rural groups studied by other researchers. Proportions of boundary-maintenance events (events whose threat had been caused or exacerbated by Jewishness) and of severe events, and proportions and rates of regular, irregular and disruptive events were examined. Boundary-maintenance events were higher among the more religiously orthodox affiliated group, and among whom religious observance was indeed reported to be higher. It was suggested that conditions of higher boundary maintenance would be associated with higher rates and proportions of regular events and with lower rates and proportions of irregular and disruptive events. Generally, the analyses supported this expectation. Boundary-maintenance events themselves were somewhat less severe, though not less likely to be irregular or disruptive than other events. Depression was shown to be unrelated to boundary-maintenance events and (surprisingly) unrelated to contextual threat when the effects of irregularity-disruption were controlled. Depression was, however, strongly related to irregular and disruptive events. The results are compared with those of related work, and suggest that the general lowering effect of affiliation to a religious group may be partly explained by the effects of boundary maintenance, which involves stress, but of a less depressogenic kind than the disruptive stress associated with conditions of low/no boundary maintenance. The findings have implications for understanding the relations between culture and mental disorder.
Date: 1997
Abstract: In many parts of the world today, ethnic identity is not merely the product of socialization, but is the result of conscious choice on the part of the individual. Nowhere is this more evident than in the countries of the former East Bloc, where sweeping political changes have removed many barriers to the expression of ethnic sentiment. The present work represents an attempt to build a generalizable model of ethnic identity construction by identifying the major influences on group conceptions of ethnic identity and describing the process by which those conceptions change over time. The primary case study focuses on the construction of ethnic identity among Polish Jews born after World War II. Conclusions are based primarily on data collected in interviews with members of that community. Traditionally, theories of ethnicity have posited a unity of beliefs, values or behaviors within an ethnic group. In contrast to traditional theories, the model proposed here focuses on major areas of conflict within groups, positing that conflict over issues deemed relevant in some degree to all members of the group is the driving force behind ethnic change. In choosing to identify, members of ethnic groups are presented with a set of issues, which are both important and controversial for the group, on which they feel obligated to take a position. The set of controversial issues relevant to a given group at a given time, the model posits, is determined by three factors: differences between cohorts arising from their formative experiences; differences between subgroups arising from conflicts between communal institutions; and differences between subgroups arising from their varied responses to input from outside groups. Whereas works on ethnicity in the field of political science have tended to focus on nationalism, or the pursuit of statehood by ethnic groups, this model treats nationalism and organized political behavior in general as a potential outgrowth of ethnicity, but not as its necessary byproduct.
Date: 1997
Abstract: Ce travail s'inscrit au croisement des sciences economiques et des sciences sociales. Il part d'un constat economique, celui de l'extraordinaire croissance, dans les annees 70 a 80, d'un marche, qui vingt ans auparavant n'etait qu'embryonnaire : le marche des produits cacher. Il presente les enjeux d'une telle vigueur : enjeux religieux, symboliques et identitaires d'une part, enjeux economiques et de pouvoir d'autre part. L'etude des pratiques alimentaires juives en modernite, en tant que "fait social total", permet de saisir l'organisation materielle d'une consommation symbolique. L'alimentation, parce que symboliquement centrale en tant que pratique sociale, est un angle d'approche ideal pour une sociologie religieuse du judaisme. Les observations conduite dans le domaine de la cacheront informent sur les juifs de france en dehors de ce seul domaine, mais aussi sur la place de l'alimentation dans toute societe humaine. Cette these s'articule sur deux axes : d'une part croire-pratiques-identites et d'autre part economie-institutions-pouvoir. Les consommateurs, effectifs ou potentiels, dans leur pratiques et leurs representations, etablissent un certain rapport aux textes prescriptifs, face a cela, les acteurs economiques et institutionnels, agissent selon des normes de la tradition, mais aussi selon des logiques propres, logiques de survie financiere et de pouvoir. Ces imbrications se mettent en place pour produire une configuration particuliere nommee economie du croire. Ce concept rend compte de la facon dont deux rationalites, l'une religieuse, l'autre economique, se font face, tantot s'affrontant, tantot se renforcant l'une l'autre. Si l'ethique juive prone un equilibre ideal entre les interets economiques et la necessite d'une solidarite collective, assuree par la centralite accordee au don, qu'en est-il dans les faits ? n'y a-t-il pas une tentation du veau d'or, c'est a dire une inversion entre les fins et les moyens, entre l'ethique et la technique, entre l'objet et le sens ?
Author(s): Schütze, Yvonne
Date: 1997
Author(s): Balland, C.
Date: 1997