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A Culture of Tough Jews: Rhetorical Regeneration and the Politics of Identity

A Culture of Tough Jews: Rhetorical Regeneration and the Politics of Identity

by David Moscowitz


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From brutal Nazi killers to Hanukkah heroes in the 'hood, tough Jews refute images of doomed Holocaust victims, wandering Jews of exile before them, and the post-war 'nice Jewish boys' who followed. They foster belligerent responses to polemics of fear and self-hatred, and as such, materialize as a challenge for postmodern cultural identity. A Culture of Tough Jews reframes the tough Jew as an enduring act of rhetorical regeneration by reifying a related figure, the vital Jew. As corrective to the tough Jew, the vital Jew encourages robust cultural production and dialogue. For audiences of rhetoric and cultural studies, the book offers critical and theoretical study of rhetorical regeneration, including original constructs of postmodern blackface and transformative performativity, as a resource for contemporary rhetorical invention. It also constitutes a case study for the postmodern critique of identity by invoking concerns of (post)assimilation, gender and power, and the social construction of race, ethnicity, class, and power to advance conversations on fractious cultural exigencies. A Culture of Tough Jews is a spirited call for postmodern cultural vitality that responds to contemporary politics of identity and memory.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433126291
Publisher: Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers
Publication date: 10/30/2014
Series: Critical Intercultural Communication Studies Series , #15
Pages: 183
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

David Moscowitz (PhD, Indiana University) is Assistant Professor of Communication, Associate Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, and a faculty affiliate in film studies, Jewish studies, and African American studies at the College of Charleston.

Table of Contents

Contents: The Clout of the Defier: The Vital Jew in Shadow - Gangsters, Assimilation, and Performative Paradox - The Vital Gangsta and Postmodern Blackface - Heroism and Transformative Performativity - Regen(d)erating Exile: Deterritorializing the Zionist Hero - Conclusion: Vital Identity + Politics.

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