The religious affiliation and anti-Semitism of secondary school-age Swedish youths: an analysis of survey data from 2003 and 2009
Topics: Main Topic: Antisemitism, Antisemitism: Muslim, Antisemitism, Surveys, Antisemitism: Monitoring, Schools: Non-Jewish
Abstract: Not only Swedish studies, but also several international studies, claim an increase in anti-Semitic attitudes in recent decades. As prejudice is acquired in the early years of socialization, and/or is innate and fairly stable over the life cycle, examining adolescents’ attitudes is vitally important. Hence, by controlling for individual demographic and socio-economic background factors, we study two interrelated questions: Has anti-Semitism among Swedish secondary school-age youths changed between 2003 and 2009? Are changes equal across groups, with a specific focus on religious groups? Using two unique cross-section surveys of secondary school-age students in Sweden for the years 2003 and 2009, we try to address the above questions. Our analysis shows, in contrast to the views of the general public and other related studies, that anti-Semitism has decreased slightly during the examined period. Moreover, the study finds a variation in anti-Semitism by religious affiliation: it has increased among Muslim youth, but remains stable in other groups.
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Antisemitism, Islamophobia, Jewish - Muslim Relations, Representation, Comparisons with other communities
Abstract: In this contribution, I examine the Catholic political practice of “intercessions” (shtadlanut) as a means to control and manage relations between state power and Jewish communities by means of a privileged elite. While governmental techniques or mechanisms of minority management are only part of a broader question of majority–minority power relations, the theological-political roots of such “management” strategies are often overlooked because the problem is assumed to be secular. In my analysis of shtadlanut, I show how Jewish communities were internally divided between “good” and “bad”, “managed” by the ruling powers, and homogenized. It is precisely this type of enforced collaboration with power, in combination with reduced agency and de-politicization, that I claim goes beyond the “Jewish Question”. Rather, we must turn our gaze on Europe and consider how, and why, it continues to make 'others' into problems. By doing so, we can challenge the frame of the contemporary "Muslim Question".
Abstract: It has become the orthodoxy in recent years to assume that anti-Semitism globally is not only rising but also taking a new form – it is a ‘new anti-Semitism’ or even a new phenomenon: Judeophobia. This article takes a different perspective. It initially covers approaches to anti-Semitism and how, especially in the light of the Holocaust, it has been viewed academically as no longer the fault of the Jews but as a natural and constant feature of history since antiquity. A critique is provided of the idea of a continuous history of anti-Semitism and of the metaphors used to describe it. There then follows a case study of anti-Semitism in Britain. The British case is valuable as it is seen as a key example of the ‘new anti-Semitism’, and one that is more striking given the alleged absence of previous hostility towards Jews in that country. By employing a comparative approach – both temporal and in relation to responses to other groups – change and continuity are charted through a study of racial violence. Such comparisons, it is argued, allow a more nuanced and balanced analysis of this issue, which has created much alarm and little sober reflection.
Towards understanding: antisemitism and the contested uses and meanings of ‘Yid’ in English football
Topics: Main Topic: Antisemitism, Antisemitism, Football, Sports, Jewish Identity, Jewish - Non - Jewish Relations
Abstract: This article addresses an omission in the currently brief body of work on antisemitism in football and contributes to and advances wider sociological debates in the sub-disciplines of race and ethnicity, religion, linguistics and sport. The article examines antisemitic discourse in English football and in doing so, explains the different uses and meanings of ‘Yid’ in the vernacular culture of fans. While many conceive of ‘Yid’ as an ethnic epithet, fans of Tottenham Hotspur – Gentiles and Jews – have appropriated and embraced the term, using it to deflect the antisemitic abuse they are targeted with due to their ‘Jewish identity’. The study maps the contested uses of ‘Yid’ on a continuum to explain and demarcate between the nuanced forms of antisemitism in football. It makes central the cultural context in which ‘Yid’ is used, together with the intent underpinning its use, since epithets and slurs are not simply determined by their lexical form.
Abstract: This article provides an interrogation of radical pluralism as an analytical and normative framework through the prism of the eruv. The eruv is a symbolic perimeter structure which, by privatizing public space, enables orthodox Jews to carry on the Sabbath beyond their homes. The article focuses on the controversial, highly contested attempt to establish an eruv in North London in the 1990s. While radical pluralism's response to the eruv constitutes a blend of neo-Marxism, feminism, poststructuralism, and communitarianism, the article critically focuses on the particular influence of liberal individualism on radical pluralism's understanding of privacy, freedom and harm.
Abstract: The present study consists of part of the author's research on Hungarian political developments since 1990, the date of the first free elections. The political problems of coexistence between Jews and non‐Jews is examined as a question of Hungarian political behaviour during the present political transition. His argument deals with the abyss between present economic changes, possibilities for modern political and social development, existing political behavioural conservatism.
Topics: Bukharian Jews, Mountain Jews, Ethnicity, Surveys, Aliyah, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: This study of ethnic identity and ethnic relations in the Caucasus and Central Asia uses a 1985 sample of Soviet Jews who immigrated to Israel. Georgian, ‘Bukharan’ (Central Asian) and Mountain Jews are more attached to religion and tradition than their Ashkenazi brethren. They do not use religion as a surrogate for ethnicity, and they have a strong sense of ethnic identification, including a highly specific self‐identity as Georgian, Bukharan or Mountain Jews, different from other Jews. Georgian Jews report less frequent encounters with anti‐Semitism than any other Jewish group, but all groups believe that ethnicity plays a major role in daily life, in encounters with officials, and in social relations. Ethnic stereotypes and ethnic distances are clearly revealed in tests among the respondents. Ethnicity emerges as an important factor in daily life and ethnic gaps appear quite wide. These conclusions are supported by recent events in the USSR.
Topics: Jewish neighbourhoods, North African Jewry, Cities and Suburbs, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: This article discusses the historical and geographical contexts of diasporic religious buildings in East London, revealing – contrary both to conventional narratives of immigrant integration, mobility, and succession and to identitarian understandings of belonging – that in such spaces and in the concrete devotional practices enacted in them, markers and boundaries of identity (ritual, spatial, and political) are contested, renegotiated, erased, and rewritten. It draws on a series of case-studies: Fieldgate Street Synagogue in its interrelationship with the East London Mosque; St Antony's Catholic Church in Forest Gate where Hindus and Christians worship together; and the intertwined histories of Methodism and Anglicanism in Bow Road. Exploration of the intersections between ethnicity, religiosity, and class illuminates the ambiguity and instability of identity-formation and expression within East London's diasporic faith spaces.
Abstract: This article examines social, ritual and political structures in the Jewish Community of Copenhagen, Denmark. This community maintains great vitality despite profound fragmentation in its membership, as well as intensive interaction by its members with non-Jewish culture. It does so by providing flexible contexts for participation by its members, so that Jews with profoundly diverse understandings of group and self can engage with Jewish identity. The community does not foster a single model of ethnic identity, but rather provides a symbolic space within which individual members can construct their own understandings of self and group. Such symbolic spaces may become increasingly essential for ethnic groups in late modern societies, where it has become difficult to maintain the sorts of cultural consensus and separation that have historically grounded ethnic communities.
Welfare state type, labour markets and refugees: a comparison of Jews from the former Soviet Union in the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany
Topics: Finance, Poverty, Jewish Organisations, Jewish-Non-Jewish Relations, Care and Welfare, Main Topic: Demography and Migration
Abstract: The massive exodus of Jews from the former Soviet Union [FSU] has been accompanied by welfare state retrenchment and labour market restructuration in the two preferred destination countries of refugee resettlement: the United States and Germany. This study compares the resettlement policies and outcomes of FSU Jews and shows how the context of resettlement, viz. differences in welfare state type, labour market formation and host ethnic community, yield marked differences in formal job market adaptation. FSU Jews in Germany are almost twice as likely as their American counterparts to rely on some form of refugee cash assistance for their primary means of support, whereas the American cohort is twice as likely to be employed in the formal labour market. However, informal labour market adaptation is quite similar. Findings suggest unwitting system convergence, each exercising a different form of social exclusion - welfare stigma and under employment for refugees in the United States, and high labour market regulation in Germany.
Topics: theory, Jewish history, religion, ethnicity, Jewish Identity, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: Jews have debated whether they are a racial, religious, ethnic or cultural group. Historically, Judaism (religion) and Jewish ethnicity have been fused. The Soviet regime suppressed traditional Jewish identities and substituted a secular, socialist Jewishness based on Yiddish which proved unpopular. Now that they are free to reconstruct Jewish life, we interviewed 1,300 Jews in three Russian cities to ascertain what they think being Jewish means. Judaism plays a very small role in their conceptions of Jewishness. To the extent that religious rituals are observed, they are manifestations of ‘symbolic ethnicity’. Many do not ‘feel’ Jewish because their culture and consciousness are largely Russian. Nevertheless, they are interested in learning more about Jewish traditions and culture. A Jewish ‘civil religion’ may emerge in Russia. Jewish identities have varied over space and time, and a uniquely Russian Jewish identity may evolve in the coming years.
Topics: theory, Jewish history, religion, ethnicity, Jewish Identity, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: The Jewish experience in Europe over the past two hundred years offers much of interest to the student of ethnicity and the sociologist of religion because of the opportunity to undertake comparative work on a single group living in a range of diverse socio‐political environments. European Jews have been treated from the outside as constituting a religion and, more recently, as an ethnic group; both these models have been internalized by Jews themselves. However, they coexist with major processes of internal change involving not only the disintegration of traditional Jewish culture and its reconstruction in highly attenuated form, but also the respective influences of the devastation of the Holocaust and of newer models deriving from Israeli perspectives on diaspora Jewish identity. Under these circumstances, ethnicity and religion as analytic categories do not easily fit the Jewish case: the proposal is made that attention to Jewish historical consciousness may be useful in advancing comparative and ethnographic studies.