From Realistic Conflict to Relative Deprivation: Rethinking the Psychology of Antisemitism

Pears Institute Lunchtime Seminar

Event Information and Booking

19th November, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Birkbeck, University of London
Anthony Kauders, Keele University

A spectre is haunting the field of antisemitism studies – the spectre of antisemitism as the result of real conflict between Jews and non-Jews. The spectre has taken on many different names, from the ‘objective’ Jewish question to realistic conflict theory to kernel-of-truth approach, but whatever the label, a prominent group of historians, sociologists, and political scientists has been highly critical of any suggestion that antisemitism may also stem from competition, rivalry, or struggle between Jews and Gentiles. The paper sets out to trace the recent critique of ‘realistic conflict theory’ as it pertains to antisemitism studies. In doing so, it will provide an overview of the arguments comprising the debate; outline the way in which these arguments depend on specific psychological notions; and, finally, proffer an alternative approach, based on the social psychological concept of relative deprivation.

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