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Discontinuity, Tradition, and Innovation: Anthropological Reflections on Jewish Identity in Contemporary Hungary

Discontinuity, Tradition, and Innovation: Anthropological Reflections on Jewish Identity in Contemporary Hungary

Abstract

Since the end of Communist rule Hungary has been re-examining its own national identity and so too have its Jewish citizens. The renegotiation and reconstruction of Jewish identity is characterized by the ability of individuals and groups to choose from a variety of identities. Choices, pace Giddens, are not made by some decontextualized individual in a quest for self-identity but rather in the context of social networks and resources. The choices are taken within a framework embracing the state, a mode of production and within the Jewish group which latter is not homogeneous. The author shows how internal and external links are mobilized and how cultural brokers act as agents in the development of new forms of Jewish identity.
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