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The Dispersion

A History of the Word Diaspora

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Stéphane Dufoix

Winner of the 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

In The Dispersion, Stéphane Dufoix skillfully traces how the word “diaspora”, first coined in the third century BCE, has, over the past three decades, developed into a contemporary concept often considered to be ideally suited to grasping the complexities of our current world. Spanning two millennia, from the Septuagint to the emergence of Zionism, from early Christianity to the Moravians, from slavery to the defence of the Black cause, from its first scholarly uses to academic ubiquity, from the early negative connotations of the term to its contemporary apotheosis, Stéphane Dufoix explores the historical socio-semantics of a word that, perhaps paradoxically, has entered the vernacular while remaining poorly understood.

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Horst Jürgen Helle

As founder of the humanist version of sociology, Simmel sent powerful messages that are identified and explained in this book: interpretation - things are often not what they appear to be; change- culture and society evolve over time; interaction - reality is socially constructed; alienation - people define the value of money without taking responsibility for this construction. Simmel sees humans defining objects in interaction as valuable or worthless, but then they refuse to acknowledge having anything to do with the process of value attribution. He is critical in politics as well; Simmel is concerned that socialism is treated as a political movement and not viewed as a potential form of social interaction.