Ethnic transgressions Book Chapter

Shrage, L. (2018). Ethnic transgressions . 191-198. 10.4324/9780429501531-18

cited authors

  • Shrage, L



  • Being Jewish, at different historical moments and in different places, has been variously understood as being of a particular “race”, “religion”, or “ethnicity”. To echo Patricia Williams, what a person with Jewish ancestors must do to accommodate an ethnically neutral identity is to become an invisible Jew, a phantom Jew. In contemporary America it seems to be mostly a matter of “ethnicity”. Although racial and ethnic assimilation, acculturation, and passing have problematic consequences and causes, the existing alternatives to assimilation are equally problematic. In short, it may be that some transgressions are destabilizing of gender, racial, sexual, and ethnic norms while others are not. The transgression is dizzyingly intense, a reminder of what it is to be alive. It is a sinful pleasure, this willing transgression of a line, which takes one into new awareness, a secret, lonely, and tabooed world-to survive transgression is terrifying and addictive.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 191

end page

  • 198