Judaism and Jewishness: socio-anthropological perspectives

The goal of this carnet is at least threefold :

  • the first goal is to combine research works developed in the filed of sociology and anthropology related to Jewish studies, in different countries. Not only ailing from European or American (both north and south) countries, but also from countries where Jewish studies still play a marginal and isolated role (Morocco, Egypt, certain eastern countries…).
  • Another goal is to inform researches conducted in other subjects, starting from the cases considered in the field of Jewish studies. In a world that is both extremely connected and at the same time confronted with new divisions and the strengthening of borders, both material and symbolic, this carnet constitutes a kind laboratory not only to grasp forms of distinction and affiliation, but also dynamics of local integration and marginality, between Israel, considered as the central reference for Jewishness and Judaism, and diasporas with their multiple affiliations and spaces of reference. In addition to contributing to the understanding of the topic « Judaism », whose contours are continuously redefined by the tensions between its center and its margins, the scientific approach here proposed takes part in the debate of different disciplines making use each time of an angle particularly appropriate to each one of them.
  • The third goal is to articulate the debate of social sciences together with that of historical sciences. This practice will be fundamental in order to grasp the specificities of the collective experience of Jews throughout history. This will also help to highlight the contribution from one side of social sciences (here: sociology, anthropology, political science and geography) and from the other of various forms of knowledge (such as: literature, cinema, music or pop culture in the broad sense of the term), to the construction of a comparative analysis of the multiple facets of Jewish identity. A jewish identity that is characterized by multiple dynamics when it comes to define and perform the principle of distinction, at a time of globalization and at the very hearth of Judaism, all the same constantly characterized  by its internal differences. In this sense, to work on “the Jewish worlds” means also to understand how their dynamism, and their permanence through time, may have also fed on the sources of this internal diversity which, far from destroying the idea of unity, paradoxically contributed to its nourishment.

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