How Distinct are American Jews?

Mazur, Allan
July 2016
Contemporary Jewry;Jul2016, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p225
Academic Journal
The cumulative General Social Surveys (GSS, 1972-2014) are used to examine an advantaged group, American Jews, while controlling on structure. The method is to compare Jewish respondents (n = 1,266) with a 'control group' of non-Jews who are similar educationally, geographically, and demographically (n = 2,275), and also with the remaining sample (n = 55,942). Many 'Jewish' characteristics barely differ from those of the control group. Still, Jews are unusual in ways best explained as culturally learned, including minimal religiosity, Democratic politics, and emphasis on education. The metaphor of 'melting pot' fails here because Jews are not converging on modal American values.


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