Hegemonic Hypocrisy: A Victim Of Social Scriptorium

1372 words - 5 pages

With the passage at hand, Dr. Ella Shohat discusses about the case of being an Arab Jew, a historical paradox, as one of many social elisions. Unlike the idea of intersectionality, binarism leaves “little place for complex identities” (Shohat, 2). As an American, Jew, and Arab, she speaks of the disparities amidst a war involving all three cultural topographies. Albeit she speaks from a subjective standpoint, she does not mention the issue of racial hygiene, class, geographic divisions, and gender. Passages from Guenter Lewy, Melissa Wright, and Philippe Bourgois will be used to discuss the way in which different positionalities might affect the analysis of “Dislocated Identities.”
In “Dislocated Identities,” Dr. Shohat tells of the reification of identity categories. Identity categories are hypothetical construct falsely manifested as something concrete where communities are neatly bounded. Despite the idea of syncretism, which serves as a façade for the term “community,” its definition entails the exclusion of others and where the generic “norm” of those unmarked are reinforced creating the idea of “us vs. them.” In her article, Dr. Shohat addresses the concern about the “us” being Jews and “them” being Arabs--- “a pressure to choose between being a Jew and being an Arab” (Shohat, 2). Apart from being an entity of social scriptorium, Dr. Shohat addresses the difficulties and problems within Middle Eastern political, economical, cultural, and religious views. One of the reification of Arab Jew identity is that it excludes marked intersectional experiences. This controversy is seen in the American hegemonic context that the identity of being Jewish can only be limited to the European experience (i.e. Holocaust), which Dr. Shohat argues, should not be the way Jewish history be discussed. The falsehood of these generic norm branches from the lack of historical understanding and failure of solidarity since the only unity is the reinforcement of the generic norm which is an unmarked particular “one.” Therefore, within each group remain those that are privileged and those that are not, a paradigm of power.
In Guenter Lewy’s piece “The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies,” he discusses about racial profiling and hygiene, inner characteristic of race, and Social Darwinism which Shohat did not mention in her article. However, Lewy and Shohat both talk about the disparity of being mixed breed and the difficulties that that entails. According to Lewy, the Gypsies were profiled for their dark complexions and way of life. The safety “norm” was invented to eliminate the unwanted so that the nation can be safer. The term “othering” refer to the idea of making racial enemies. Inspired by Social Darwinism, the Nazi practices the discipline of eugenics by controlling reproduction and marriage, a form of naturalization of inequality and biopower. In prevention of the reproduction of the inferior race, in this case the Gypsies and Jews, they issued the law of...

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