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“Being Jew is like Travelling by Bus”: Constructing Jewish Identities in Spain between Individualisation and Group Belonging

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Individualisation theory has mainly focused on the deregulation of religion and dissolution of traditional majority churches, but there is less evidence of its appropriateness for religious minorities. In this paper I contribute to this debate by analysing how Jews in Spain construct their Jewish sense of belonging in the context of a diverse, traditionally Catholic society. My main argument is that Jews, as a small and invisible minority, confronted by the exigencies of a secular and plural context, combine notions of religious choice and ethnic ascription in narrating their individual and collective identities. Consequently, while the theory of individualisation partly accounts for this identity construction, the specificities of the context and the minority condition require additional conceptual tools about collective identities and symbolic boundaries.

Affiliations: 1: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity


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