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SummonedIdentification and Religious Life in a Jewish Neighborhood$
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Iddo Tavory

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226321868

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226322193.001.0001

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Situational Boundaries and Balancing Acts

Situational Boundaries and Balancing Acts

(p.101) Six Situational Boundaries and Balancing Acts

Iddo Tavory

University of Chicago Press

The chapter outlines the modes of distinction between Jews and the non-Jewish “other.” I begin by showing how non-Jews are symbolically positioned as lesser beings. I then show how people have to re-form these boundaries on an everyday basis as they move between the Orthodox world, and the non-Jewish world of work. This choreography of difference and similarity is also navigated in the worlds of leisure—as Orthodox households have to decide which elements to incorporate and which to reject from the world around them. Finally, this difference not only erases commonalities, but also creates ties, as in the case of non-Jewish neighbors who act as “Shabbos-Goys”—gentiles who are sometimes asked to help Jews on the Sabbath. The chapter theorizes and highlights the ways in which distinctions and boundaries must be conceptualized inter-situationally—as people anticipate the situations in which differences are, and aren’t, socially relevant.

Keywords:   boundaries, speech genres, consumption, neighboring relations, inter-situational analysis

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