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Antisemitism and the constitution of sociology by Marcel Stoetzler

By Marcel Stoetzler

Modern antisemitism and the fashionable self-discipline of sociology not just emerged within the related interval, but—antagonism and hostility among the 2 discourses notwithstanding—also overlapped and complemented one another. Sociology emerged in a society the place modernization was once usually perceived as destroying harmony and “social cohesion.” Antisemitism was once likewise a reaction to the fashionable age, providing in its vilifications of “the Jew” a proof of society’s deficiencies and crises.
Antisemitism and the structure of Sociology is a suite of essays offering a comparative research of contemporary antisemitism and the increase of sociology. This quantity addresses 3 key components: the robust impact of writers of Jewish heritage and the emerging tide of antisemitism at the formation of sociology; the position of antisemitism within the historic improvement of sociology via its remedy by means of prime figures within the box, comparable to Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Theodor W. Adorno; and the discipline’s improvement within the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust. jointly the essays supply a clean viewpoint at the heritage of sociology and the function that antisemitism, Jews, fascism, and the Holocaust performed in shaping sleek social theory.

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Different from other critics who had already pointed out that Bauer’s characterization of the Jews had no basis in reality, Marx did not waste time on such blatantly obvious points and put forward instead the argument that all the things of which the Jews were accused were in fact general characteristics of modern society; the question whether these things also characterized the Jews—as they did everybody else—was therefore irrelevant. Fine concludes that in this reading, Marx’s second essay on “the Jewish question” continued the first essay’s argument for the detachment of the right of emancipation of Jews from all prior qualifications demanded by liberals and nationalists.

It seems that American sociology in that period tended to see Jews as carriers of a welcome modernization process that was in essence, though, coded as American rather than Jewish; by and large, they appeared at that point in time neither as too modern nor as obstacles to modernity, as was the case with antisemitism in Europe in its two main dimensions. King writes that “American sociology was historically more preoccupied with . . ” This situation changed after World War II. King writes that three factors—the Holocaust (and having escaped it), having gained unprecedented affluence as well as access to universities, and the foundation of the state of Israel—resulted in a newly configured, specifically American Jewish consciousness that was manifested in a more open concern with things Jewish also in academia.

If sociology is about the search for a modern society healed from or reconciled with its contradictions, then it is less than surprising that many of those who suffer from antisemitism as one of the latter’s foremost expressions would dedicate themselves to it. 4. This became Stoetzler, The State, the Nation and the Jews. 5. Turner, “Sociology and Fascism in the Interwar Period,” 6, 7, 9. 6. ” 7. Ranulf, “Scholarly Forerunners of Fascism,” 33–34. ” According to Barbalet, the failure of Ranulf ’s work to have had a significant impact on the sociological tradition may primarily be due to the lack of an institutional environment for sociology in Denmark before the 1980s.

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