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By Sander Gilman

During this strong and wide-ranging research, Sander Gilman explores the belief of 'the multicultural' within the modern global, a question he frames because the query of the connection among Jews and Muslims. How do Jews outline themselves, and the way are they in flip outlined, in the international struggles of the instant, struggles that flip largely round a secularized Christian standpoint? Gilman makes use of his topic to unpack a series of significant concerns: what does it suggest to be multicultural? Can the event of diaspora Judaism function an invaluable version for Islam in contemporary multicultural Europe? what's a multicultural ethnic? different chapters examine particular figures in Jewish cultural history – Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka, Israel Zangwill, Philip Roth, the hermaphrodite N.O. physique (aka Karl Baer, raised as Martha Baer) – to discover concerns inside of Jewish id. all through, Gilman can pay prepared recognition to the ways that modern literature – Chabon, Ozick, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Foer, Gary Shteyngart – taking the assumption of Jewishness and multiculturalism into new arenas.

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Extra resources for Multiculturalism and the Jews

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By Kant’s day, the inebriation of the German Jews had given way to the notion of Jewish sobriety in the use of alcohol. It is hypocritical, for as with women and ministers of the cloth, it does not come from inner conviction but as a response to external forces. 34 The common wisdom of the physicians by the turn of the twentieth century follows Kant. ”35 Maurice Fishberg, the leading American exponent of Jewish public health at the turn of the twentieth century, argues, following Kant, that Jews have a much lower rate of alcoholism because they are subject to external social forces.

It can just as frequently be the reification and commodification of ethnic identity. 35 The argument was not one of hybridity but of the authenticity of the African roots. Its project can be to stress the boundaries and borders between ethnic, cultural, religious, or class groups. If the Métis is hybrid, then hip-hop is multicultural. ) While multiculturalism can allow for, and indeed celebrate, the merging of cultures so as to eliminate boundaries, one of its strongest claims (in the new global culture that is both hybrid and multicultural) is its insistence that each of us has a “culture” in a reified, ethnic, or class sense, and that the products of these cultures can be displayed, sold, consumed, and exchanged across borders.

One day a woman said to me, who lived in a very elegant and very well kept house in Dahlem, that today’s Turks are much worse than the Jews of the past. The Jews would have masked themselves in Germanness. They acted as if they were Germans. One didn’t believe them. But that was their problem” (66). The “mask” is what is central to the German Jews in Senoçak’s image of history. It is a mask as seen by the Germans, but it was the only face that the German Jews, such as the narrator’s grandfather, actually had.

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