Grandsons Who Remember: Intersections of Holocaust Heritage and Contemporary Male Positioning

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dc.contributor.advisor Freeze, ChaeRan Moskowitz, Golan 2012-06-06T18:52:07Z 2012-06-06T18:52:07Z 2012
dc.description.abstract Research on the psychological wellbeing and self-positioning of HSG (Holocaust survivors’ grandchildren) remains limited and inconclusive. Given postmodern sensibilities that resist fixed identity categories, it would be hasty to generalize too much about the “third generation” as an identity group. But it is equally hasty to dismiss these grandchildren’s experiences from critical studies of post-Holocaust positioning. Situated in a discussion of HSO (Holocaust survivors’ offspring) studies and relevant theory in psychological, trauma, and gender studies, this project uses 24 semi-structured interviews with adult, male HSG to offer a preliminary collective biography and analysis of Jewish American HSG. It focuses on the subject positioning of contemporary Jewish American manhood as it interacts with varying internalizations of a shared Holocaust heritage. The concept of narrative is central to this project. HSG experience is, in large part, learning to locate oneself within the context of existing stories on personal, familial, and collective levels. HSG construct their own narratives in relation to their pre-history, fantasies that may form in post-traumatic absence, cultural and historical narratives, and the firsthand experiences of coming of age as a contemporary Jewish American man raised in a household of HSO parents. The voices I bring together in this project show that HSG increasingly see their own subject positions as constructed by competing social discourses, such as commercialized gender ideals, family mythology and survival stories, and personal values regarding individual fulfillment. The postmodern zeitgeist offers critical reexamination of how and why subjects become limited or removed from their own potential to operate in the multiple discourses that characterize a particular time and place. Though disparate, HSG are united by a feeling of serious obligation or privilege – a kind of designation to responsibly handle the representative position of bearing the Holocaust legacy.
dc.description.sponsorship The Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry and The Rena Olshanksy Grant for Research on Jewish Family Life
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Golan Moskowitz 2012
dc.subject 3G
dc.subject 2G
dc.subject Holocaust
dc.subject Gender
dc.subject Trauma
dc.subject Post-trauma
dc.subject Subjectivity
dc.subject Identity
dc.subject Discursive Positioning
dc.subject Masculinity
dc.subject American Jews
dc.subject Intergenerational Trauma
dc.subject Memory
dc.title Grandsons Who Remember: Intersections of Holocaust Heritage and Contemporary Male Positioning
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
dc.contributor.department Women's and Gender Studies Program MA Masters Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Women's and Gender Studies Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.description.esploro yes

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