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Author(s): Vitale, Alessandro
Date: 2014
Abstract: Technically, Israel is not the only official Jewish homeland in the world. In the Far East of Russian Siberia there still exists the Jewish Autonomous Region (JAR) of Birobidzhan. Beginning in 1928 the Soviet Union set aside a territory larger than Belgium and Holland combined and considerably bigger than Israel, for Jewish settlement, located some five thousands miles east of Moscow along the Soviet-Chinese border, between the 48th and 49th parallels north latitude, where the climate and conditions are similar to Ontario and Michigan. Believing that Soviet Jewish people, like other national minorities, deserved a territorial homeland, the Soviet regime decided to settle a territorythat in 1934 would become the Jewish Autonomous Region. The idea was to create a new Zion–in a move to counterweight to Palestine – where a “proletarian Jewish culture” based on Yiddish language could be developed. In fact, the establishment of the JAR was the first instance of an officially acknowledged Jewish national territory since ancient times: the “First Israel”. But the history of the Region was tragic and the ex-periment failed. Nevertheless, Birobidzhan’s renewed existence of today and the revival of Jewish life in the post-Soviet JAR are not only a curious legacy of Soviet national policy, but after the break-up of the Soviet Union and the worldwide religious rebirth represent an interesting case-study in order to studysome challenging geographic pro-blems, and interethnic relations.
Author(s): Vitale, Alessandro
Date: 2015
Date: 2013
Abstract: Монография представляет собой попытку реконструировать модели этнического, национально-гражданского и религиозного самосознания постсоветской еврейской молодежи, с привлечением собранного авторами полевого материала. В работе рассматривается, в чем проявляется еврейская идентичность молодых людей. Внимание уделяется таким темам, как формирование этнической самоидентификации и религиозный опыт еврейской молодежи; стремление разнообразных еврейских организаций сконструировать новую еврейскую идентичность на постсоветском пространстве; стиль жизни и формы проведения досуга молодежи; система ценностей молодых людей еврейского происхождения, включая их отношение к Государству Израиль и память о Холокосте.

Впервые воедино собраны материалы восьми исследований, проведенных авторами в течение последних десяти лет, и большая часть полученных данных публикуется впервые. Это позволяет получить доступ к беспрецедентно большому массиву информации и проанализировать исследовательские вопросы более углубленно, чем это когда-либо делалось прежде.

Книга может представлять интерес для социологов, этнологов, антропологов, культурологов и специалистов по иудаике, а также для широкого круга читателей, интересующихся современными проблемами еврейства
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.
Author(s): Loentz, Elizabeth
Date: 2006
Abstract: Minority and immigrant Germans' embrace of the derogatory term Kanake as a self-ascription and of the low-status ethnolect Kanak Sprak has been compared to US rappers' combative use of "niggah" and Black English. This essay, however, compares the revaluation of the term Kanake, a non-assimilatory Kanak identity, and the ethnolect Kanak Sprak to some early 20th century German Jews' revaluation and embrace of Eastern European Jewish culture and Yiddish. It demonstrates also how non-minority and non-Jewish Germans have used Yiddish and Kanak Sprak in literature, theater, film, and popular culture to re-inscribe ethnic difference, especially at times when minorities and Jews were becoming indistinguishable from non-minority Germans (emancipation edicts or nationality law reform). Because Kanak Sprak is inseparable from HipHop culture, the second half of the essay examines the many parallels between the importation and naturalization of German HipHop and German Klezmer. Both were imported from the United States in the early 1980s; and following the fall of the Berlin Wall and German re-unification, both have played a role in German Vergangenheitsbewältigung [mastering the past]. While HipHop and Klezmer have become the soundtrack of German anti-racism, anti-Nazism, and multiculturalism; some observers are critical of non-minority and non-Jewish Germans' appropriation or instrumentalization of ethnic music, and have cited instances of antisemitism and racism in German Klezmer and HipHop.
Author(s): Hofman, Nila Ginger
Date: 2000
Abstract: My dissertation addresses the sociocultural processes which contribute to the construction of ethnocultural identity among Zagrebian Jews. I argue, contrary to the often essentialized perception of Jewish identity imposed by e.g. the Croatian government and Jewish international organizations, that Jewish identity in Zagreb is actively chosen in ways that are both idiosyncratic and contingent upon the surrounding sociocultural environment. At the heart of my argument is an appeal to the dynamic and contextual nature of identity negotiation, and the influence this has on the maintenance and survival of the Zagrebian Jewish community. In support of this, I have employed ethnographic methods to assess (i) the ways in which Jewish identity is negotiated by community members and (ii) the ways in which the meaning of Jewish community is sustained in Zagreb. With regards to (i), I conclude that Zagrebian Jews understand their identities in terms of symbolic ethnoreligiosity, i.e. in terms of feelings and nostalgic ideas about Jewish culture and tradition. With regards to (ii), I show that the history and development of Jewish identity in Zagreb can be traced through patterns of membership participation in various Jewish organizations prevalent in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These patterns reveal the predominantly secular nature of the Zagrebian Jewish community. In light of this, I argue that community for Zagrebian Jews is ultimately defined symbolically through various types of social interaction among members. It is for this reason that the recent attempts of both international Jewish organizations and the Croatian government to impose an essentialized image of Jewish identity on the community are at odds with, and ultimately destructive to, the secular and improvisatory self-images of the members themselves.
Author(s): Goluboff, Sascha L.
Date: 2002
Abstract: The prevalence of anti-Semitism in Russia is well known, but the issue of race within the Jewish community has rarely been discussed explicitly. Combining ethnography with archival research, Jewish Russians: Upheavals in a Moscow Synagogue documents the changing face of the historically dominant Russian Jewish community in the mid-1990s. Sascha Goluboff focuses on a Moscow synagogue, now comprising individuals from radically different cultures and backgrounds, as a nexus from which to explore issues of identity creation and negotiation. Following the rapid rise of this transnational congregation—headed by a Western rabbi and consisting of Jews from Georgia and the mountains of Azerbaijan and Dagestan, along with Bukharan Jews from Central Asia—she evaluates the process that created this diverse gathering and offers an intimate sense of individual interactions in the context of the synagogue's congregation.

Challenging earlier research claims that Russian and Jewish identities are mutually exclusive, Goluboff illustrates how post-Soviet Jews use Russian and Jewish ethnic labels and racial categories to describe themselves. Jews at the synagogue were constantly engaged in often contradictory but always culturally meaningful processes of identity formation. Ambivalent about emerging class distinctions, Georgian, Russian, Mountain, and Bukharan Jews evaluated one another based on each group's supposed success or failure in the new market economy. Goluboff argues that post-Soviet Jewry is based on perceived racial, class, and ethnic differences as they emerge within discourses of belonging to the Jewish people and the new Russian nation.
Date: 2008
Date: 2011
Date: 2001
Abstract: Представляем читателям заключительную статью из серии
публикаций, основанных на материалах этносоциологического
исследования, впервые проведенного в 1992–1993 гг. в Москве,
Санкт-Петербурге и Екатеринбурге, повторенного в тех же
городах в 1997–1998 гг. и посвященного разнообразным аспектам
формирования национальной идентичности российских евреев.
Оба раза с помощью формализованного интервью были опрошены
по 1300 респондентов в возрасте 16 лет и старше по репрезентативной для каждого из трех городов выборке. В первых двух статьях серии (см. «Диаспоры», 2000, № 3; 2001, № 1) подробно описаны концепция, методология, инструментарий проекта,
а также рассмотрены его эмпирические результаты, касающиеся
структуры этнической идентичности, роли иудаизма и традиций
в жизни современного еврейства, влияния семьи и ближайшего
социального окружения на национальную самоидентификацию,
освоения культурного наследия, участия в еврейском организованном движении, политических настрений еврейского населения.
Date: 2001
Abstract: Представляем читателям вторую статью из серии публикаций, основанных на материалах этносоциологического исследования, впервые проведенного в 1992–1993 гг. в Москве, Санкт-Петербурге и Екатеринбурге, повторенного в тех же городах в 1997–1998 гг. и посвященного разнообразным аспектам формирования национальной идентичности российских евреев. Оба раза с помощью формализованного интервью были опрошены по 1300 респондентов в возрасте 16 лет и старше по репрезентативной для каждого из трех городов выборке. В первой статье серии (см. «Диаспоры», 2000, № 3) подробно описаны концепция, методология, инструментарий проекта, а также рассмотрены его эмпирические результаты, касающиеся, в частности, структуры идентичности, роли иудаизма и традиций в жизни современ
ного еврейс ва, влияния семьи и ближайшего социального окружения на национальную самоидентификацию.