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Worker hostility to ‘jewish’ habitus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at worker attitudes toward ?Jewish' norms of conduct, table manners, dress, clannishness, aggressiveness, and sexual deviance. Antisemitic workers seemed to be hostile to the entire notion of solidarity but upon closer inspection antisemites were more inclined to sneer at democratic forms of cohesion rather than simply denigrating all forms of collective life. Classic fascist and antisemitic propaganda traditionally portrays Jews as sexually perverse and rapacious. In the American context, though, the Institute discovered much to their astonishment that workers were virtually unaffected by stereotypes portraying Jews as sexually deviant. Antisemitic conceptions of ?Jewish personal qualities' were quite revealing in that complaints about hygiene, clannishness, and aggressiveness reflected a structural feature found endemic to antisemitic ideology as a whole: a preoccupation with boundaries and barriers between the pure and impure, the clean and the dirty.

Keywords: aggressiveness; antisemitic workers; clannishness; Jewish personal qualities; sexual deviance; solidarity; table manners



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