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Mixed Marriage in Cultural Contexts

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Publication Date: April 2004

Publisher(s): Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Author(s): Joyce Antler

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Media, telecommunications, and information (Television)
Population and demographics (Ethnic and racial groups)
Social conditions (Marriage and family life)

Keywords: Television; Gender; Intermarriage; Culture

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


Starting from the premise that mass culture plays an important role in how young people encounter issues of identity, including ethnic and religious identity, Antler discusses the representation of Jews in the media, especially of Jewish TV characters in intermarried relationships. She notes that intermarriage and interdating on television have become so pervasive that it is virtually impossible to find a Jewish-Jewish couple anywhere on screen, an exception to the general popular depiction of ethnically similar couples. Additionally, almost all of TV's interfaith marriages or romances deal in stereotypes, usually negative stereotypes of Jewish men and even worse stereotypes of Jewish women. Antler reflects on the possible causes and effects of this phenomenon, and its implications for the American Jewish community.