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Profile photo of Anders Ackfeldt

Anders Ackfeldt

Researcher

Profile photo of Anders Ackfeldt

The black bar mitzvah : Representations of Jews in US hip-hop lyrics

Author

  • Anders Ackfeldt
  • Erik Magnusson

Summary, in Swedish

References to Jews and to matters included in Jewish discourse are commonplace in US popular culture in general and in US-produced hip-hop lyrics in particular. This article deals with the latter, and aims to analyse how Jews are represented there. It is suggested here that 1. these representations are rendered comprehensible by analysing them in the light of the term coined by Zygmunt Bauman: allosemitism, which denotes that Jews are ‘other’. This article further suggests that 2. the representations of Jews featured in the lyrics cannot be made comprehensible without looking into the historical relations between American Jews and African Americans. According to Jeffrey Melnick, this relation is characterised by ‘robust ambivalences’. This article arrives at the conclusion that the representations of Jews draw on classical conspiratorial and economic antisemitic ideas that situate Jews within the realms of shadowy (economic and instrumental) power, but which at times can be understood as philosemitic, as Jews are represented as wealthy and influential role models. Hence the usage of the term allosemitism to analyse the empirics

Department/s

  • History of Religions and Religious Behavioural Science
  • Centre for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies
  • MECW: The Middle East in the Contemporary World

Publishing year

2022-06-27

Language

Swedish

Pages

37-54

Publication/Series

Nordisk Judaistik - Scandinavian Jewish Studies

Volume

33

Issue

1

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Sällskapet för judaistisk forskning

Topic

  • Religious Studies

Keywords

  • Jewish studies
  • Hip-hop
  • Antisemitism
  • Allosemitism
  • Rap

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0348-1646