Blason Populaire – Jewish-American

J.A.P. (also refered to as “jap” or “japs”)

Jewish American Princess

“It’s a stereotype that Jewish girls have rich daddies to pay for all their needs and wants. Stereotypical profession for Jews are high-paying—doctors, lawyers—like money, medical backgrounds. With parents, with these kind of jobs the kids are spoiled rotten. I think there’s some truth to it. And now it’s come to be like an identity for Jewish kids living the pampered lifestyle. I don’t think it has as negative connotation any more. People now identify themselves as JAPs. They are proud of this identity not for what it does for Judaism but because it means they are people with money. It fits into the whole sweet sixteen faucet of culture. I learned it like around junior high or high school. I’m like a Nor Cal Jew; I’m pretty sure someone around me got called it. Non-Jews don’t really call each other JAPs unless it’s an insult. But Jews can call each other JAPs.”

The informant is a 19-year-old Caucasian student in the Los Angeles area, originally from Northern California. She follows the Jewish faith. She also comes from a very large family with 8 other siblings.

The acceptance of the stereo-type of J.A.P. by the current generation shows how people use blason-populaire in forging their own identities. The current definition of JAP is a byproduct of the Jewish stereotype–as mentioned by the informant of professional careers–as it moves into the next generation. It presents a modernized version of the Jewish doctor/lawyer family stereotype; that is, that the father figure of the family brings in a large paycheck to his devoutly Jewish family.

Also, the response of those accused of being “JAPs” ties in to the theory that it is at times easier to embrace a stereotype than to discount it as they have a tendency to accept the stereotype, even mocking it slightly. Further, it also defines a group of whom is Jewish and whom is not by stating that from within the circle it is okay to call one another a JAP, but it is not acceptable for outsiders to do the same.