American Jewry in the Light of Middleman Minority Theories

Publication Date: January 1980

Publisher: Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry

Author(s): Walter P. Zenner

Research Area: Culture and religion

Keywords: American Jews; Occupation

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


In Contemporary Jewry 5/1, 11-30. In this essay, the 20th century American community will be analyzed using concepts of various middleman minority theories and related formulations. This body of theory assists in making appropriate comparisons of Jews and other minorities in America. Jews are not confined solely to middleman roles, though many of the roles Jews occupy can be seen as such in a metaphorical sense. Nevertheless, even when some segment of these theories is rejected as inapplicable, questions about the nature of Jewish-held occupations are raised that might otherwise be ignored.