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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54223
Doc. No:TL24177
Call number:‭3175041‬
Main Entry:Penny Rosenwasser
Title & Author:Exploring, resisting, and healing from internalized Jewish oppression: Activist women's cooperative inquiryPenny Rosenwasser
College:California Institute of Integral Studies
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:589
Abstract:Internalized Jewish oppression results from absorbing anti-Semitic messages from a society founded on Christian norms, believing these messages as true, and thus internalizing misinformation about oneself and other Jews—leading to self-hatred. Such internalization also encompasses emotional/behavioral responses to historic persecution, behaviors transmitted through families. Confronting anti-Semitism, releasing destructive messages, and reclaiming positive Jewish connection can free Jewish progressives to reclaim self-love and to empower liberatory practice. In cooperative inquiry, co-researchers collaboratively construct knowledge from lived experience, democratically, using action/reflection cycles and a holistic epistemology, including emotional release. I recruited nine diverse Jewish feminist activists who met over ten months, exploring manifestations of internalized anti-Semitism and developing healing/resistance strategies. This study brings to life our Jewish women's narratives; our findings rely on material from meeting transcripts. We learned that despite our diversity, we shared commonality: that there was nothing pathologically wrong with us, but instead that we had internalized societal anti-Semitism. We found that internalized anti-Semitism manifested as: fear, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, shame, isolation, grief, self-loathing; believing that we are “too much” or “not enough”; shedding Jewishness through assimilation; fearing visibility; minimizing Jewish issues; believing we are victims, confusing past with present; pushing for perfection; being confused about racial identity; and marginalizing non-Ashkenazi Jewishness. For resistance/healing strategies, we experienced: groups that build closeness, community and appreciation; somatic and experiential tools to release emotion; reframing Jewishness as positive; confronting fear and shame by embracing Jewish visibility and connection; raising Jewish issues; confronting anti-Semitism; acting in opposition to negative messages; acknowledging white privilege and Jewish vulnerability; ensuring multicultural Jewish visibility; building alliances; and dismantling oppression. A parallel literary inquiry contextualizing our findings discusses Christian bigotry, stereotyping, scapegoating and internalized anti-Semitism. It includes how anti-Semitism is used to mask systemic injustice, the construction of white Jewishness, and how internalized victimization hampers work for justice in Palestine and Israel. My findings as primary researcher revealed the empowerment resulting from our group exploration, facilitated by cooperative inquiry. I found a reciprocal relationship between risk-taking, personal transformation, community learning and empowered activism.
Subject:Social sciences; Psychology; Activist; Cooperative inquiry; Healing; Internalized; Jewish; Oppression; Resisting; Women activists; Minority & ethnic groups; Sociology; Womens studies; Social psychology; Psychotherapy; 0453:Womens studies; 0631:Sociology; 0622:Psychotherapy; 0631:Minority & ethnic groups; 0451:Social psychology
Added Entry:E. Kasl
Added Entry:California Institute of Integral Studies