by contributing editor Yitzchak Schwartz In her 2000 Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies article on American Jewish history, historian Hasia Diner notes a new trend in the field in which a growing number of works were focusing on Jews’ self-understanding and self-presentation. Today, such works seem to have taken over the field, displacing older social […]
I’m reblogging this very strong shot across the scholarly bow re: the fixation on identity and the construction of identity in American Jewish History. It’s a problem common across the entire fields of Jewish Studies. As I see it, the category of identity is pretty thin beer. It doesn’t work as part of an explanatory framework, and it says very little about the given object or phenomenon under study.