Jewish-American Identity and Critical Intercultural Communication: Never Forget, Tikkun Olam, and Kindness to Strangers explores what it means to be Jewish on a personal, sociocultural, and global-political level. This book employs 50+ interviews with diverse Jewish voices to provide a history of Jewish migration to the US and to privilege voices that are not necessarily White and Eastern European/Ashkenazic. Sobré argues for a more inclusive form of intercultural theorizing that favors intersectionality and allyship over oppression Olympics (stereotypes between members of different nondominant groups) and colorism (within nondominant group discrimination). Such siloing of differences, and further competing about whose differences are the most egregious, minimizes critical intercultural coalition opportunities allowing for such groups as those who gave power to Trump and Netanyahu to connect while inclusive progressives engage in in-fighting and separatism. The author calls for transversal dialogic politics, racially and historically accurate school curriculum, intersectionality and more inclusive intercultural communication scholarship and practice as various means of working together against white nationalism and white supremacy in the US and the world. Scholars of religious studies, cultural anthropology, and intercultural communication will find this book of particular interest.
Miriam Shoshana Sobré is assistant professor of instruction at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Table Of Contents
Introduction: The Point of the Exercise
Section I: Jews and Jewish Life in US America
Chapter 1: Definitions, History and Demographics of Jewish Americans
Chapter 2: Rootless Cosmopolitans Find Roots: Socioeconomics, Education and Social Justice of Jewish Life in US America
Chapter 3: Antisemitism, Zionism, Israel, and Acceptance: Jews in the US American 20th Century Through Today
Section II: Theoretical Framework for the Study
Chapter 4: Critical Intercultural Communication and Jewish American Life – A Framework for Analysis and Critique
Chapter 5: Never Forget, Scattered People and Israel: Jews within a Postcolonial Context
Section III: US American Jewish Voices and the Stories of Jewish American Identity
Chapter 6: Laying the Groundwork for the Study
Chapter 7: A Mosaic of Jewish Identity
Chapter 8: Ashkenormativity and Critical Intercultural Communication
Chapter 9: Strange Bedfellows: US American Jews and Israel
Chapter 10: Never Forget and Never Again
Glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish Terms
About the Author
“Sobre-Denton takes on a topic of utmost importance at a time when anti-semitism is on the rise. To analyze these rhetorics through an intercultural lens is novel, linking history, discourse, and identity construction--something useful for intercultural communication scholarship, course development, and individual learning. This book is for anyone looking to understand the nuances of Jewish identity construction within historical, political, social, and cultural context(s).”
"In this book exploring Jewish-American identities, Dr. Sobre uncovers a series of rich veins of communication that root us within specific cultural, ethnic, historical, and personal dynamics. Impressively, she takes up an often-fraught range of questions about Jewish-American lives. In taking these up, she models nuanced critical intercultural research by engaging across spoken and written contexts with sensitivity and with a vulnerable invitation to challenge received ideas and imagine new possibilities for holding identities in productive tension."