From Getting to Spending - Consumer Culture and the Making of Jewish Identity
A look at Jews as not only money-makers but also money-spenders. Anti-semitic stereotypes of Jews as capitalists have paralysed research into the economic dimension of the Jewish past. The figure of the Geldjude haunted the 19th and 20th centuries. The paper offers an insight into this crucial and neglected axis of consumption, identity, and Jewish history in Europe. It show how the advances of modernisation and secularisation in the modern period increased the importance of consumption in Jewish life, making it a significant factor in the process of re-defining Jewishness.
Gideon Reuveni is reader in history and director of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex.
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