9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN31 Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Theorising Racism and Antisemitism Building II, C5.05

Intersections of antisemitism and sexism in socio-economic relations

The aim of this presentation is to shed light on the multilayered structural and functional intersections of antisemitism and sexism. Thereby, a major focus will be laid onto the role both antisemitism and sexism play in the ideology of commodity fetish being central also to Late Capitalism. The connections of antisemitism and sexism can be seen in specific debates on economic issues, where the figure of the "greedy Jew" intermingles with specifically gendered and sexualised images, e.g. the "prostitute"; both can be read as specific expressions of the sensuality assigned to money. In 19th century, materialism was widely seen as "female and "Jewish" weakness. Antisemitism and sexism both function as media for a concretist framing of an abstract capitalist world, both can be seen as distorted and abbreviated depictions of objective processes of society. Both work with strategies of personalisation and simplification and aim at reducing the complexity of the modern capitalist world. Particularly noticeable, images of the "Jewish" and the "female" are equally racialised and gendered/sexualised, whereby an (alleged) transgression of traditional social, political, economic, sexual and gender borders is central to these images. As configurations of an overall anti-emancipatory impetus, these images are performative acts of antisemitism and sexism at the same time. Accordingly, they are not only manifestations of discriminatory and oppressive practices or structures of society, but have the power to (re-)produce these discriminatory structures. In this presentation, major intersections of antisemitism and sexism with regard to dealing with the socio-economic relations of advanced capitalist society shall be analysed.