The Beautiful Jew is a Moneylender: Money and Individuality in Simmel's Rehabilitation of the ‘Jew’

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Abstract

This article contends that Georg Simmel attempted a rehabilitation of the Jewish stereotype in a singular way: via his theory of modernity and the quintessential place held therein by money. The first part of the article, based almost entirely on Simmel's The Philosophy of Money, seeks to demonstrate that Simmel intended to overturn the negative Aristotelian and Marxist assessments of money and of those who deal with it. The second part of the article is based on Simmel's unique theory of type. This part seeks to establish that what Simmel in fact rehabilitates is the Jewish type, rather than any actual historical entity, and that this type is in fact the stereotype of the Jew. Simmel's attempt is made in terms of existential authenticity (i.e. truth and beauty) and in direct relation to the project of modernity (money).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalTheory, Culture and Society
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Jew's stereotype
  • modernity
  • money
  • Simmel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (all)

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