By Marcel Stoetzler
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Extra info for Antisemitism and the Constitution of Sociology
2 But even when modernity was interpreted in less threatening and more positive terms as an emancipatory and progressive development, the Jews could serve equally well to signify the threat of restoration and reaction. Moreover this function of the Jews as symbols of modernity or its antithesis was not unique to antisemitism; within classical sociological theory too, the Jews were identified, for example, with capitalist modernization (Marx, Sombart) or, conversely, with a traditionalistic economic ethos (Weber).
In Max Weber and His Contemporaries, edited by Wolfgang J. Mommsen and Jürgen Osterhammel, 345– 54. London: Allen & Unwin, 1987. Bruch, Rüdiger vom, ed. Weder Kommunismus noch Kapitalismus, bürgerliche Sozialreform in Deutschland vom Vormärz bis zur Ära Adenauer. Munich: Beck, 1985. Bruch, Rüdiger vom, Friedrich Wilhelm Graf, and Gangolf Hübinger, eds. Kultur und Kulturwissenschaften um 1900: Krise der Moderne und Glaube an die Wissenschaft. Stuttgart: Steiner, 1989. Burrin, Philippe. La dérive fasciste: Doriot, Déat, Bergery 1933–1945.
Tellingly the first meeting of the German Sociological Society in 1910 featured a paper by the “racial biologist” Alfred Ploetz, indicating that the organizers of the meeting found positioning the emerging discipline of sociology in relation to “racial biology” a matter of urgency. Ploetz saw social problems as effects of racial impurities and perceived a dichotomy between society, altruistically committed to support and preserve the weak, and race, aiming to preserve itself by exterminating the weak.