Anti-Semitism refers to all anti-Jewish statements, tendencies, resentments, attitudes, and actions, regardless of whether they are religiously, racially, socially, or otherwise motivated. Ever since the experience of National Socialist ideology and dictatorship, anti-Semitism has been understood as a social phenomena which serves as a paradigm for the formation of prejudices and the political exploitation of the hostilities that ensue from them. As prejudice research, it is primarily interested in the behaviour and attitudes of different majority societies, and strictly speaking, it does not even require knowledge of the discriminated minority. This article claims that anti-Semitism research and Jewish studies are not interconnected, nor dependent on one another. However, the history of Jews, their interaction with non-Jewish majority societies, their persecution and extermination, serves anti-Semitism research as a paradigm.
James E. Waller
This article explores the impact of the Holocaust on subsequent social scientific research and the contribution of social scientific research to understanding the Holocaust and its aftereffects. The principal disciplines involved in this analysis are psychology, sociology, anthropology (particularly social and cultural anthropology), political science, and economics. Although some subfields of history deploy quantitative and qualitative methodologies similar to those of the social sciences, the emphasis here is on disciplinary and interdisciplinary work that seeks to go beyond the minutiae of thick description (‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘where’) to arrive at formulations of explanation and understanding (‘why’ and ‘how’) that reach beyond individual cases, i.e., that claim to know a little less and understand a little more.