Dasgupta, Rohee (2014) Hidden Ghettos: Jewish identity and the processes of its political, social and legal reconstructions in Poland from 1945 until today. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

The thesis probes into the transitions of and within Jewish identity in the transitional state of Poland since 1945 until today amidst concentricity of anti-Semitism, discrimination of rights, forced emigration of Jews, religious dialogues, identity paradoxes, (re)conversion into Judaism, constitutional amendments and European aspirations. My research studies the increasing renewal of identitarian engagement of Polish-Jewishness and is an attempt to understand how a controversial minority identity is revived and renewed through a range of political, social and legal processes that enables people ‘to get in touch’ with their hidden pasts. I identify this change as an autonomous renewal of identity that is retributive, redistributive and cosmopolitical in nature opening new grounds for participatory citizenship; (inter) community practices and ethno-political dialogues. Based on interviews and observations in the field I narrate dimensions and shifts within the constructions of being Jewish and trace how Jewish identity affiliation are actively constructed through the state law, religious life-practices (as prescribed by Halakhah or Jewish Law), community awareness programmes, diasporic influences and cultural events. In the process, the thesis probes into the role of this ‘corrective measure’ for social change that allows such acts of self-renewal which surpass historical prejudices; reintegrates values, reinstates claims and re-objectifies transformation of cultural representation. This I argue lends itself to pluralist influences and outcomes than mere just appropriations. My research contextualises selfdefinitions of Jewishness obtained from the interviews within the legal templates of the 1997 Act in the Polish Constitution concerning relations with Jewish religious communes, the Halakhah, and the annual reports on Poland by the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and European Commission Against Racism and Tolerance (ECRI) to argue that such identity renewal incites important questions for the interpretation of Polish-Jewishness.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 10:09
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2018 10:09
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/4509

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