chapter  9
25 Pages

Sociological method and antisemitism

ByDavid Hirsh

This chapter demonstrates that antisemitism endures in more subtle ways, manifesting itself in the quality and the intensity of hostility to Israel. Antisemitism may be recognized by the replication of racist tropes and stereotypes in ostensibly non-racist discourse. Unconscious antisemitism may manifest itself through slips or mistakes, which are otherwise difficult to explain. Sociology begins as an empirical enterprise, starting with an analysis of what is. Our ideas about the world as it could be are constrained but also inspired by their relationship to the world as it is. Sociology understands antisemitism as an objective social phenomenon which cannot be defined simply by reference to the subjective feelings of individuals concerned. Antisemitism, after all, can be attractive to radical people who look at the world that exists and find everything wrong with it. However, Sociology also holds an important key to understanding antisemitism and the world that produces it.