Antisemitism as a Reservoir: Implications for the Sociology of Racism (Brendan McGeever)
|Dates:||17 November 2022|
|Times:||13:00 - 14:00|
|What is it:||Webinar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
|Who is it for:||University staff, External researchers, Current University students|
The Labour Party’s bitter antisemitism controversy provides an opportunity to reflect sociologically on the place of antisemitism within the field of racism studies. In this paper I draw on empirical data to conceptualise antisemitism as a reservoir: a deep reservoir of stereotypes and narratives, replenished over time, from which people draw with ease, intentionally or otherwise. This conceptualisation, I argue, enables us to shift the focus from individual antisemites (‘bad apples’) to instead come to terms with the significance of antisemitism as a form of racialisation within political culture.
But this raises new questions: what, if anything, is distinctive about antisemitism as a form of racism? And perhaps more urgently, what are the implications for anti-racist politics? Labour’s antisemitism controversy reveals a deepening divide among the forces that resist racism. Half a century ago, opposition to antisemitism and other racisms were more closely aligned, intellectually and politically. Today these connections are slender, and for many, there has been a parting of ways. This paper explores whether a conception of antisemitism as a reservoir can be part of a broader attempt to forge a multi-directional understanding of racism.
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