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Description - Unheroic Conduct by Daniel Boyarin

Offering an alternative to the prevailing Euroamerican warrior/patriarch model of masculinity, this text explores the Jewish ideal of the gentle receptive male. The Western notion of the aggressive, sexually dominant male and the passive female reaches back through Freud to Roman times, but as the Author aims to make clear, such gender roles are not universal. Analyzing ancient and modern texts, he reveals early rabbis - studious, family-oriented - as exemplars of manhood and the prime objects of female desire in traditional Jewish Society. Challenging those who see the "feminized Jew" as a pathological product of the Diaspora or a figment of the anti-Semitic imagination, the author argues that the Diaspora produced valuable alternatives to the dominant cultures overriding gender norms. He finds the origins of the rabbinic model of masculinity in the Talmud, and though unrelentingly critical of rabbinic society's oppressive aspects, he shows how it could provide greater happiness for women than the passive gentility required by bourgeois European standards.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780520210509
ISBN-10: 0520210506
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Pages: 433
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 11-Jun-1997
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Daniel Boyarin

Daniel Boyarin is Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture (California, 1993) and A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (California, 1994). Chapter 5 of Unheroic Conduct, "Freud's Baby, Fliess's Maybe; Or, Male Hysteria, Homophobia, and the Invention of the Jewish Man," received the Crompton-Noll Award of the Modern Language Association Gay and Lesbian Caucus.

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