conflict & communication online, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2017
ISSN 1618-0747




Peter Ullrich & Michael Kohlstruck
Patterns of the public discourse on anti-Semitism. The example of the reception of the study “Anti-Semitism as a problem and a symbol”

The reception of the Study „Anti-Semitism as a problem and a symbol“ (2015), examining perceptions of Anti-Semitism among stakeholders in Berlin was diverse. Despite this diversity in the study’s reception underlying communicative patterns of a ritualized public communication regarding anti-Semitism become obvious: the dominance of quantifying anti-Semitic phenomena (1), vague definitions of Antisemitism and dichotomization of the debate (2), dedifferentiation of anti-Semitic phenomena and the neglect of their symbolic meanings (3). The authors conclude that there is an urgent need for a sociology of knowledge approach to Anti-Semitism, embedding the analysis of anti-Semitic phenomena (problem dimension) into their communicative preconditions in the different approaches to anti-Semitism (symbolic dimension).


  englischer Volltext  

The authors:
Peter Ullrich, Dr. phil. Dr. rer. med., is a sociologist and co-head of the research unit “Social Movements, Technology, Conflicts” at the Centre for Technology and Society, fellow at the Centre for Research on Antisemitism (both at Technische Universität Berlin) and research associate at the “Institute for Protest and Social Movement Studies”. His current research focuses on political sociology, social movements, protest policing and Antisemitism/Antizionism/Antisemitism related discourses. He is the author of „The Left, Israel and Palestine“ (Berlin 2008, in German) and „Germans, Leftists and the Middle East Conflict“ (Göttingen 2013, in German). He edited various book, among them: „Conceptualizing Culture in Social Movement Research“ (with Britta Baumgarten and Priska Daphi, Basingstoke 2014) and „Prevent and tame. Protest under (self-)control“ (with Florian Heßdörfer and Andrea Pabst, Dietz 2010).
eMail: Website:

Michael Kohlstruck, Dr. phil., is a political scientist. Research projects at the University of Bremen and Potsdam, lecturer at RWTH Aachen (1995-1998); lecturer at the Center for Research on Anti-semitism, TU Berlin (2002-Present). M. Kohlstruck’s research activities center on contemporary rightwing extremism and right-wing populism, political culture, and youth violence. Some recent publications: Einblicke V. Ein Werkstattbuch, Potsdam 2016 (Ed. with Dirk Wilking) kollektiver Gewalt - Kollektive Gewalt im Bild. Annäherungen an eine Ikonographie der Gewalt. Für Werner Bergmann zum 65. Geburtstag, Berlin 2015 (Ed. with Stefanie Schüler-Springorum und Ulrich Wyrwa).