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Comment on Brym and Degtyarev's Discussion of Anti-Semitism in Moscow

  • Vicki L. Hesli (a1), Arthur H. Miller (a1) and William M. Reisinger (a1)

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Brym and Degtyarev argue that in the "volatile" post-Soviet context, the potential for anti-Semitism is high. On the basis of responses drawn from 988 interviews conducted in Moscow in 1992 they conclude that the number of anti-Semites in Moscow is much higher than in the United States or Canada, and they also conclude that anti-Semitic orientations are part of a broader authoritarian, xenophobic and illiberal set of attitudes.

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1. Robert J. Brym and Andrei Degtyarev, “Anti-Semitism in Moscow: Results of an October 1992 Survey,” Slavic Review 52, no. 1: 1-12.

2. Sidney, Heitman, “Jews in the 1989 USSR Census,” Soviet Jewish Affairs 20: 2330 .

3. Because of the long repression of Jews in the Soviet Union, the census figures most likely undercount the real number of Jews which has been estimated to be much higher.

4. Donald R. Kinder ( “The Continuing American Dilemma: White Resistance to Racial Change 48 Years after Myrdal,” Journal of Social Issues 42 [1986]: 151-87) was unable to find evidence that personal threat is related to racism.

5. The regression analysis reported in table 1 includes only Russians living in Russia and Ukrainians living in Ukraine who received a non-zero score on the scale of evaluations with Jews and for whom we have full information on all demographic indicators.

6. James, L. Gibson and Raymond, M. Duch, “Attitudes toward Jews and the Soviet Political Culture,” Journal of Soviet Nationalities (1992): 99.

7. The finding that younger people hold more negative orientations toward Jews than older people does receive substantiation from within the broader European setting. See Geoffrey, Harris, The Dark Side of Europe: The Extreme Right Today (Savage: Barnes and Noble, 1990); and Brian Kessel, unpublished MS.

8. See M.R.Jackman and M.J. Muha, “Education and Intergroup Attitudes: Moral Enlightenment, Superficial Democratic Commitment, or Ideological Refinement,” American Sociological Review 49 (1984): 751-69. We note that Uniates and Catholics tend to be found in greater proportions among western Ukrainians; and west Ukrainians tend to reveal greater social distance from Jews than do Ukrainians from south, east or central areas.

9. Nonbelievers in Russia (as compared with believers) have been described as less conservative, less supportive of political order and less positive toward Stalin (Mark Rhodes, “Religious Believers in Russia,” RFE/RL Research Report 1, no. 14 [3 April 1992]: 60-64).

10. Arthur Miller, Vicki Hesli and William Reisinger, “Reassessing Mass Support for Political and Economic Change in the Former USSR,” American Political Science Review 88, no. 2 (1994): 399-411.

11. Gudkov, L.D. and Levinson, A.G., “Otnoshenie k evreiam,” Sotsiologicheskie issledavaniia 12 (1992): 111 .

Comment on Brym and Degtyarev's Discussion of Anti-Semitism in Moscow

  • Vicki L. Hesli (a1), Arthur H. Miller (a1) and William M. Reisinger (a1)

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