In-Group Indentification and Out-Group Association: A Theoretical and Experimental Study

By Jack Rothman

Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA), National Conference of Jewish Communal Service, Fall 1960

It is critical for the American Jew to have both a healthy 'in-group' relationship with the Jewish minority and a reasonable 'out-group' relationship with the non-Jewish majority. Many American Jews cite the works of Kurt Lewin as scientific justification for the hypothesis that a strong in-group identity will result in constructive out-group relations and therefore that American Jews should concentrate on passing down strong ethnic and religious traditions. The author examines the writings of Kurt Lewin and concludes that the social scientist, emerging from inter-war Germany and focusing on cultural extremes, would not advocate for the position championed by contemporary Americans who quote him. The author urges careful reconsideration of Lewin's base assumptions of non-Jewish suppositions and Jewish mentalities and concludes that a "balanced" approach to in-group and out-group identification will lead to the healthiest American Jewish community.

Topic: Sociology, Jewish Identification, Community Relations

Name of Publication: Journal of Jewish Communal Service

Editor: Sherman, Sanford N.

Volume/Issue: Vol. 37/No. 1

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Genre: Conference Presentation

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Rothman, Jack. In-Group Indentification and Out-Group Association: A Theoretical and Experimental Study. Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA),National Conference of Jewish Communal Service. Fall 1960: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=3977


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