Saturday, November 12, 2011

Max Weber on Jewish Communal Identity

Max Weber's Theory of Social and Economic Organization, originally published in German in 1920 and in English in 1947 (see here), contains a section entitled "Types of Solidary Social Relationships". This divides relationships into 'communal' and 'associative', defined here. On contemporary German Jews, Weber (p.138) refutes the assumption that Jews were an inward-looking close-knit community:
In the case of Jews, for instance, except for Zionist circles and the action of certain associations promoting specifically Jewish interests, there thus exist communal relationships only to a relatively small extent; indeed, Jews often repudiate the existence of a Jewish 'community'.

1 comment:

Roberto Lucena said...

"On contemporary German Jews, Weber (p.138) refutes the assumption that Jews were an inward-looking close-knit community"

That is true. European Jews were well dispersed and not seen as a community united, except in the anti-Semitic view. Eastern European Jews suffered prejudice from German Jews who were well integrated in Germany (one of the most integrated community in the country of origin), who saw themselves primarily as Germans.

"Revisionists" have got so much trouble dealing with this fact.