Sociology Confronts the Holocaust: Memories and Identities in Jewish Diasporas

Sociology Confronts the Holocaust: Memories and Identities in Jewish Diasporas

By: Judith Madeleine Gerson (editor), Diane L. Wolf (editor)Paperback

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This volume expands the intellectual exchange between researchers working on the Holocaust and post-Holocaust life and North American sociologists working on collective memory, diaspora, transnationalism, and immigration. The collection is comprised of two types of essays: primary research examining the Shoah and its aftermath using the analytic tools prominent in recent sociological scholarship, and commentaries on how that research contributes to ongoing inquiries in sociology and related fields.Contributors explore diasporic Jewish identities in the post-Holocaust years; the use of sociohistorical analysis in studying the genocide; immigration and transnationalism; and collective action, collective guilt, and collective memory. In so doing, they illuminate various facets of the Holocaust, and especially post-Holocaust, experience. They investigate topics including heritage tours that take young American Jews to Israel and Eastern Europe, the politics of memory in Steven Spielberg's collection of Shoah testimonies, and the ways that Jews who immigrated to the United States after the collapse of the Soviet Union understood nationality, religion, and identity. Contributors examine the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 in light of collective action research and investigate the various ways that the Holocaust has been imagined and recalled in Germany, Israel, and the United States. Included in the commentaries about sociology and Holocaust studies is an essay reflecting on how to study the Holocaust (and other atrocities) ethically, without exploiting violence and suffering. Contributors. Richard Alba, Caryn Aviv, Ethel Brooks, Rachel L. Einwohner, Yen Le Espiritu, Leela Fernandes, Kathie Friedman, Judith M. Gerson, Steven J. Gold , Debra R. Kaufman, Rhonda F. Levine , Daniel Levy, Jeffrey K. Olick, Martin Oppenheimer, David Shneer, Irina Carlota Silber, Arlene Stein, Natan Sznaider, Suzanne Vromen, Chaim Waxman, Richard Williams, Diane L. Wolf

About Author

Judith M. Gerson is Associate Professor of Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, where she is also an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Jewish Studies. Diane L. Wolf is Professor of Sociology and a member of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Beyond Anne Frank: Hidden Children and Postwar Families in Holland.


Acknowledgments ix Part 1: Reconsidering Holocaust Study Introduction: Why the Holocaust? Why Sociology? Why Now? / Judith M. Gerson and Diane L. Wolf 3 Sociology and Holocaust Study / Judith M. Gerson and Diane L. Wolf 11 Part 2: Jewish Identities in the Diaspora Post-memory and Post-Holocaust Jewish Identity Narratives / Debra Renee Kaufman 39 The Holocaust, Orthodox Jewry, and the American Jewish Community / Chaim I. Waxman 55 Traveling Jews, Creating Memory: Eastern Europe, Israel, and the Diaspora Business / Caryn Aviv and David Shneer 67 Trauma Stories, Identity Work, and the Politics of Recognition / Arlene Stein 84 Responses to the Holocaust: Discussing Jewish Identity Through the Perspective of Social Construction / Richard Williams 92 Part 3: Memory, Memoirs, and Post-Memory In Cuba I was a German Shepherd: Questions of Comparison and Generalizability in Holocaust Memoirs / Judith M. Gerson 115 Collective Memory and Cultural Politics: Narrating and Commemorating the Rescue of Jewish Children by Belgian Convents during the Holocaust / Suzanne Vromen 134 Holocaust Testimony: Producing Post-memories, Producing Identities / Diane L. Wolf 154 Survivor Testimonies, Holocaust Memoirs: Violence in Latin America / Irina Carlota Silber 176 Historicizing and Locating Testimonies / Ethel Brooks 185 Part 4: Immigration and Transnational Practices In the Land of Milk and Cows: Rural German Jewish Refugees and Post-Holocaust Adaptation / Rhonda F. Levine 197 Post-Holocaust Jewish migration: From Refugees to Transnationals / Steven J. Gold 215 "On Halloween We Dressed Up Like KGB Agents": Reimagining Soviet Jewish Refugee Identities in the United States / Kathie Friedman 236 The Paradigmatic Status of Jewish Immigration / Richard Alba 260 Circuits and Networks: The Case of the Jewish Diaspora / Yen Le Espiritu 266 Part 5: Collective Action, Collective Guilt, Collective Memory Availability, Proximity, and Identity in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: Adding a Sociological Lens to Studies of Jewish Resistance / Rachel L. Einwohner 277 The Agonies of Defeat: "Other Germanies" and the Problem of Collective Guilt / Jeffrey K. Olick 291 The Cosmpolitanization of Holocaust Memory: From Jewish to Human Experience / Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider 313 The Sociology of Knowledge and the Holocaust: A Critique / Martin Oppenheimer 331 Violence, Representation, and the Nation / Leela Fernandes 337 Bibliography 345 Contributors 385 Index 391

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780822339991
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 424
  • ID: 9780822339991
  • ISBN10: 0822339994

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