Contemporary Jewry

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 106–135 | Cite as

Interpreting social influences on holocaust knowledge

  • Katherine Bischoping


The effects of generation, eduation, ethnicity, and gender on Holocaust knowledge are explored, using data from a United States national survey, a university student survey and qualitative interviews with university students. Knowledge levels are greatest among more educated respondents, respondents whose political coming of age was during the Holocaust, and among Jewish respondents. Results for gender are sample-specific. Indepth interviews, which complement survey data, indicate that social psychological processes of identification with Holocaust victims influence knowledge and underlie demographic effects. Thus, public knowledge about the Holocaust is not determined statically by individuals’ social structural characteristics. Rather, public knowledge is flexible and could be enhanced by Holocaust education that emphasizes identification. Implications of the results for theories linking generation to knowledge and for methodological issues in sample design are identified.


National Sample African American Student Jewish Identity Contemporary JEWRY National Jewish Population Survey 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Bischoping
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityYork

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