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Remembering the HolocaustA Debate$
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Jeffrey C. Alexander

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326222

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326222.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Life and Death among the Binaries: Notes on Jeffrey Alexander’s Constructionism

Life and Death among the Binaries: Notes on Jeffrey Alexander’s Constructionism

Chapter:
(p.156) Life and Death among the Binaries: Notes on Jeffrey Alexander’s Constructionism
Source:
Remembering the Holocaust
Author(s):

Elihu Katz

Ruth Katz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326222.003.0007

Jeffrey Alexander is an exception. His theoretical interest in “how culture works” has brought him to the gates of Auschwitz. He brings theory and method to bear on social trauma and its resolution, daring even to cope with the Holocaust and with the risks of doing so. However, he does not explain the behavior of the perpetrators, or of their compliant victims, or of the bystanders. His aim, rather, is to tell the story of how the concept, Holocaust, arose from the ashes and may yet change the world. This chapter notes that the accounting scheme for studying an event is obvious. People need to know what happened; why it happened, or more forthrightly, how it could have happened; how it came to be known, and remembered; and what were its consequences.

Keywords:   Jeffrey Alexander, social construction, Holocaust, Auschwitz, social trauma

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