Antisemitic Attitudes among Young Americans

Event time: 
Friday, September 30, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Online () See map
Event description: 

The Benjamin (Yale 1962) and Barbara Zucker Lecture Series
Concern about antisemitism in the U.S. has grown following recent rises in deadly assaults, vandalism, and harassment. Public accounts of antisemitism have focused on both the ideological right and left, suggesting a “horseshoe theory” in which the far left and the far right hold a common set of anti-Jewish prejudicial attitudes that distinguish them from the ideological center. I will discuss implications of several experiments on an original survey of 3,500 U.S. adults, including an oversample of young adults, who have been previously found to have higher rates of antisemitic views. Contrary to the expectation of horseshoe theory, the data show the epicenter of antisemitic attitudes is young adults on the far right. I will also discuss studies that investigate antisemitic attitudes among racial minority groups, as past research has shown their comparatively negative views of Jews. Prior theories from the literature for this phenomenon—group competition, broader anti-White attitudes, spillover from anti-Israel attitudes, and more—do not seem to explain the racial differences in antisemitic attitudes. Overall, these findings call for renewed interest in the intersection of ideology, race, and antisemitism.

Laura Royden, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Goverment, Harvard University