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The Fockerized Jew?: Questioning Jewishness as Cool in American Popular Entertainment
Abstract

This essay examines the recent upsurge in overt Jewish identity in American popular culture, using the film Meet the Parents (2000) and its sequel Meet the Fockers (2004) as a case study to demonstrate how the Jewish Jew is no longer avoided and when portrayed does not fall victim to stereotyping. While looking at these two films together, I describe a broader evolution in media from the de-ethnicized Jew, and for that matter the de-ethnicized Jewish actor, to performers flaunting (and thereby celebrating) Jewishness in a Christian-centric society that has found acceptance of the Other. The paper also questions what about Jewishness is cool and describes how viewer subjectivities influence the perception of coolness.



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