Antisemitism and the Constitution of Sociology by Marcel Stoetzler

February 12, 2017 | Jewish | By admin | 0 Comments

By Marcel Stoetzler

Modern antisemitism and the trendy self-discipline of sociology not just emerged within the related interval, but—antagonism and hostility among the 2 discourses notwithstanding—also overlapped and complemented one another. Sociology emerged in a society the place modernization used to be frequently perceived as destroying cohesion and “social cohesion.” Antisemitism used to be likewise a reaction to the trendy age, providing in its vilifications of “the Jew” an evidence of society’s deficiencies and crises.
Antisemitism and the structure of Sociology is a suite of essays delivering a comparative research of recent antisemitism and the increase of sociology. This quantity addresses 3 key components: the robust impact of writers of Jewish historical past and the emerging tide of antisemitism at the formation of sociology; the position of antisemitism within the old improvement of sociology via its remedy through best figures within the box, corresponding to Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Theodor W. Adorno; and the discipline’s improvement within the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust. jointly the essays supply a clean point of view at the heritage of sociology and the position that antisemitism, Jews, fascism, and the Holocaust performed in shaping smooth social theory.

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Moreover this second line of argument would also be compatible with Durkheim’s republican, anti-antisemitic nationalism, which indeed invokes both Comte and Kant: the French revolutionary and positivist, postrevolutionary traditions, and the German idealist tradition. 28. Wernick, Auguste Comte and the Religion of Humanity, 110–11, writes that Comte described monotheism, via the idea of “personal salvation,” as the fount of egoism. Comte detected a contradiction in Catholicism between an 34 Stoetzler egoistic and abstract theology and love- engendering cultic practice and organizational structure.

If this is granted, it is unsurprising that the one will adopt characteristics of the other when their thought patterns (reasoning, ideology, imaginings, rhetoric) are seen to succeed: antisemites will become quasi-sociologists (see the quote from Drumont that opens this introduction), and sociologists— even if and when opposing antisemitism—will parallel, be ambivalent about, or partly resemble antisemites, or even join them to varying degrees. Their convergence will likely be stronger if the individuals in question originate from the same political, cultural, or social milieu, such as (in Germany) the late nineteenth- century national liberal milieu that produced most sociologists and some antisemites.

The mediating instance that makes the various intended and unintended meanings cohere is society, in critical theory conceived as “the totality” of social relations, in poststructuralism as discourse, episteme, and so on (which can be understood as amounting to the same thing): a structural dimension of society (the Durkheimian “thing”; It) that expresses itself in the utterances of the speakers and gives them meaning and resonance beyond their specific contexts as Introduction 33 long as the general context (the “type” of society; the “mode of production”; “civilization” in the sense developed by Robertson in this volume) remains the same.

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