Abstract/Details

We are chosen: Jewish narratives in Galveston, Montreal, New York, and Buenos Aires


2004 2004

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Jewish Americans have been incredibly adept in public relations, and this study traces the ways in which Jewish narratives were used in the twentieth century to perform cultural work for the community. We Are Chosen begins with the premise that established Jews in Galveston, Montreal, New York, and Buenos Aires defined Jewishness in attractive terms in the early 1900s for political expediency, to challenge negative perceptions by non-Jews and promote esteem among Jews, and that these terms continue to inform conceptions of Jewish identity. Geographically, the project looks beyond (as well as in) New York, focuses on three dominant tropes (giving, mobility, and assimilation), and examines how and why these themes effectively translate religious election (“chosenness”) in the secular sphere. Jewish narratives and their ennobling rhetorics are often taken as a matter of course, even in the field of Jewish American Studies, but should be understood as products of a particular historical moment. As vehicles for positive public relations, Jewish narratives mask voices deemed unattractive or potentially threatening. Drawing from essays, organizational reports, periodical and historical writings, and works of Jewish American literature, individual chapters put dominant and protesting voices in conversation with one another and explore why some images are deemed “good for the Jews” and others are considered self-hating. Examining the history of Jews in other places does not detract from the importance of New York to Jewish American history or memory, but insists that there are more complex and dynamic stories that include, but are not limited to, New York and its mythic Lower East Side.

Indexing (details)


Subject
American studies;
American literature;
American history;
Minority & ethnic groups;
Sociology
Classification
0323: American studies
0591: American literature
0337: American history
0631: Minority & ethnic groups
0631: Sociology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Argentina, Buenos Aires, Galveston, Jewish, Montreal, Narratives, New York City, Quebec, Texas
Title
We are chosen: Jewish narratives in Galveston, Montreal, New York, and Buenos Aires
Author
Bergoffen, Wendy H.
Number of pages
207
Publication year
2004
Degree date
2004
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 65/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780496132058, 0496132059
Advisor
Chametzky, Jules
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3152672
ProQuest document ID
305176360
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305176360
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.