conflict & communication online, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2010
ISSN 1618-0747




Björn Milbradt
Grey areas of anti-Semitism research, or An attempt to understand 'Zeitgeist'

This article examines the independent film 'Zeitgeist' in order to elaborate on grey areas of contemporary anti-Semitism research. It offers reasons why 'fixed' definitions of anti-Semitism are in some ways inadequate. 'Anti-Semitism after Auschwitz' is basically characterized by its vagueness and the need to work with allusions rather than with manifest resentments. In 'Zeitgeist' this is accomplished by providing viewers with a description of an alleged international conspiracy and some indications of whom the filmmakers hold responsible for it. 'Zeitgeist' can be interpreted as a document that systematically develops the grassroots of an actualized manifest anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, anti-Semitism researchers have not paid much attention to the film and other such media offerings that do not fit with 'traditional' definitions of anti-Semitism.


  full text in German  
On the author:
Björn Milbradt studied sociology, philosophy and peace and conflict studies at Philipps University in Marburg. Since September 2008 he has held a doctoral stipendium from the DFG Graduate College 'Group-Related Prejudices', with a project on changes in anti-Semitism since 1945. He is also a member of the Marburg Center for Conflict Research and the Villigster Research Forum on National Socialism, Racism and Anti-Semitism (registered association). Besides anti-Semitism research, his chief scientific interests are in qualitative social research, social scientific methodology and critical theory.

Address: Philipps-Universität Marburg, DFG-Graduiertenkolleg Gruppenbezogene Menschenfeindlichkeit, Bunsenstr. 3, 35037 Marburg.