Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Lewis Z. Schlosser & Julie R. Ancis
Antisemitism is prejudice, hostility, and/or discrimination toward Jews as a racial, religious, and/or ethnic group on an individual, community, institutional, and/or societal level. Antisemitism can be categorized into three central forms: religious (anti-Judaism), racial/ethnic (classical antisemitism), and political (anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist). This definition underscores a major problem with defining and understanding antisemitism; that is, Jews cannot be adequately classified using the established taxonomies for cultural demography. This is primarily because Judaism is often viewed only as a religion and because of the erroneous assumption that all Jews are White; this inaccurate view of Judaism ignores the within-group diversity of Jews. In fact, the term anti-Semitism originally and erroneously referred to a Jewish racial group: Semites. There are differences in Jewish racial and ethnic origins (i.e., Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and Mizrachim) and different identities both within the diverse Jewish religious denominations (e.g., Orthodox, Hasidic, Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist) and within nonreligious The ...