Middle East Sociology Working Group

Middle East maps on WikipediaOutline of this page:

1. What Is Middle East Sociology?
2. Selected Upcoming Meetings Related to Middle East Sociology.
3. Past Meetings of the Middle East Sociology Working Group.
4. Syllabi Related to Middle East Sociology.
5. Selected Reflections on the State of Sociology of the Middle East.
6. Professional Associations Related to Middle East Sociology.
7. Participants.

1. What Is Middle East Sociology?

The concept of the “Middle East” was popularized in the early 20th century to denote the regions of Asia between the Near East and the Far East. It came to have its present meanings several decades later (see works by Davison 1960, Keddie 1973, Koppes 1976, Adelson 1995, Kurzman 2007, and Bonine et al. 2011). “Sociology” was coined in the 1820s by Auguste Comte, who later also founded the “religion of humanity,” and became a university discipline in the late 19th century and early 20th centuries. Rather than define either term, our working group is open to all who consider themselves sociologists and who consider their subject of study to involve the Middle East.

The working group grows out the recognition that — using conventional definitions — sociologists are underrepresented among Middle East specialists, and Middle East specialists are underrepresented among sociologists. The working group is intended to consolidate this field of study and to increase scholarly training and collaboration.

For a number of years, the working group and other networks of sociologists have discussed creating a new section of the American Sociological Association on the “Global Middle East” (a compromise title suggested at our November 2014 meeting). In 2015, we launched a petition to the ASA. If you are an ASA member, please take a few moments to:

  1. Take a look at the proposal;
  2. Sign the petition; and
  3. Write to at least 2 friends and colleagues and encourage them to do the same!

The petition involves pledging that you will sign up for the section for two years – the cost is likely to be no more than $10 per year, and less for graduate students. A group of anonymous donors has agreed to pay the section dues for graduate students for the first two years!

2. Selected Upcoming Meetings Related to Middle East Sociology:

American Sociological Association:
August 7-10, 2021, online (in-person conference scheduled for Chicago, Illinois, has been cancelled).

Middle East Studies Association of North America:
October 28-31, 2021, Montreal, Quebec.

Social Science History Association:
November 11-14, 2021, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

3. Past Meetings of the Middle East Sociology Working Group:

Convened at the American Sociological Association, New York, August 12, 2007. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, Montreal, November 18, 2007. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, Boston, August 4, 2008. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, Washington, D.C., November 24, 2008. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, San Francisco, August 9, 2009. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, Boston, November 22, 2009. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, Atlanta, August 14, 2010. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, San Diego, November 21, 2010. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, Las Vegas, August 20, 2011. Minutes.
Parallel meetings at the Middle East Studies Association, Washington, D.C., December 3, 2011. Notes.
Graduate Student Workshop and Luncheon at the American Sociological Association, Denver, August 17, 2012. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, Denver, November 18, 2012. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, New York, August 11, 2013. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, New Orleans, October 12, 2013. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, San Francisco, August 16, 2014. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, Washington, DC, November 23, 2014. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, Chicago, August 23, 2015. Minutes.
Informal meeting and reception co-sponsored with the Arab Council for the Social Sciences at the Middle East Studies Association, Denver, November 23, 2015. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, Seattle, August 20, 2016. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, Boston, November 20, 2016. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, Montreal, August 13, 2017. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, Washington, DC, November 19, 2017. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, Philadelphia, August 12, 2018. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, San Antonio, November 16, 2018. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the American Sociological Association, New York, August 11, 2019. Minutes.
Informal meeting at the Middle East Studies Association, New Orleans, November 14, 2019. Minutes.

4. Syllabi Related to Middle East Sociology:

Columbia University: David Stark, Economic Transformations in New Democracies, 2012.
New School University: Uri Ram, Israeli Society and the Palestinians, 2006.
New York University: Benoit Challand, Sociology of the Middle East: Applied Themes in Political Sociology, 2015.
Portland State University: Tugrul Keskin, Sociology of the Middle East, 2009.
Portland State University: Tugrul Keskin, Sociology of Islam, 2010.
Syracuse University: Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Social Theory and the Middle East, 2006.
Universidad de Buenos Aires: Pedro Brieger, Sociologia de Medio Oriente, 2007.
University of California, Berkeley: Cihan Tugal, Sociology of the Middle East, 2011.
University of Illinois at Chicago: Atef Said, The Arab Spring, 2014.
University of Illinois at Chicago: Atef Said, Middle Eastern Societies, 2014.
University of Kansas: Elif Andaç, Sociology of the Middle East, 2008.
University of Michigan: F. Müge Göçek, Introduction to Sociology Through American and Iraqi Societies, 2006.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Charles Kurzman, Sociology of Islam, 2016.
University of Notre Dame: Hyun Jeong Ha, Religion and Politics in the Middle East, 2017.
University of Oxford: Leila Vignal and Kerem Oktem, Cities and Societies in the Middle East, 2010.
University of Pittsburgh: Mohammed Bamyeh, Sociology of Islam, 2007.
University of South Florida: Mustafa Gurbuz, Sociology of Global Islam, 2012.
Virginia Tech: Tugrul Keskin, Sociology of Political Islam, 2007.
Yale University: Jonathan Wyrtzen and Jeffrey Guhin, Sociology of Islam, 2011.
Yale University: Jonathan Wyrtzen, Islamic Social Movements, 2012.
Yale University: Zakia Salime, Gender in North Africa, 2016.

5. Selected Reflections on the State of Middle East Sociology:

Mohammed Bamyeh, “Near Middle East/North Africa Studies: Society and History,” in James D. Wright, ed., International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015), Vol. 16, pp. 381-386. (Worldcat)

Mohammed Bamyeh, Social Sciences in the Arab World: Forms of Presence (Beirut: Arab Council for the Social Sciences, Arab Social Science Monitor, 2015). (Online)

Nilgün Çelebi, “Sociology Associations in Turkey: Continuity Behind Discontinuity,” International Sociology, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 253-267, June 2002. (SAGE Journals Online)

Sari Hanafi and Rigas Arvanitis, Knowledge Production in the Arab World: The Impossible Promise (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2016). (Worldcat)

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, “Cross-Eyed Sociology in Egypt and the Arab World,” Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 26, No. 5, September 1997, pp. 547-551. (JSTOR)

Devorah Kalekin-Fishman, “Making Sense of Constant Change: Israeli Sociology Between Apologetics and Radical Critique,” Current Sociology, Vol. 54, No. 1, January 2006, pp. 63-76. (SAGE Journals Online)

Resat Kasaba, “The Middle East in Sociology, Sociology in the Middle East,” in Cynthia Miller-Idriss, Seteney Khalid Shami, Seteney Shami, eds., Middle East Studies for the New Millennium (New York: NYU Press, 2016), pp. 82-111. (Worldcat)

Aytül Kasapoglu, “The Study of Sociology in Turkish Higher Education,” International Education Journal, Vol. 6, No. 4, September 2005, pp. 537-546. (Online)

Moshe Lissak, “‘Critical’ Sociology and ‘Establishment’ Sociology in the Israeli Academic Community,” Israel Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1996, pp. 247-294. (Project Muse)

Ali Akbar Mahdi and Abdolali Lahsaeizadeh, Sociology in Iran (Bethesda, MD: Jahan Book Co., 1992). (Worldcat)

George Sabagh and ­ Iman Ghazalla, “Arab Sociology Today: A View from Within,” Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 12, 1986, pp. 373-399. (JSTOR)

Armando Salvatore, Sari Hanafi, and Kieko Obuse, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2020). (Oxford)

C. A. O. Van Nieuwenhuijze, Sociology of the Middle East: A Stocktaking and Interpretation (Leiden: Brill, 1971). (Worldcat)

Abdelkader Zghal, Ahmed Iadh Ouederni, María Luz Morán, eds., Questions from Arab Societies: Proceedings of the ISA Arab Regional Conference, Hammamet, Tunisia, 16-18 May 1997 (Montréal: Service de l’information et des relations publiques de l’UQAM, 1998). (Worldcat)

6. Professional Associations Related to Middle East Sociology:

Sociology:
American Sociological Association.
Arab Council for the Social Sciences.
Arab Sociological Association.
Egyptian Sociologists Association.
International Sociological Association.
Iranian Sociology Association.
Israeli Sociological Society.
Lebanese Sociology Association.
Moroccan Sociology Association.
Palestinian Sociological Association.
Saudi Society of Sociology and Social Work.
Tunisian Sociology Association.
Turkish Sociology Association.

Middle East Studies:
Asian Federation of Middle East Studies Associations (AFMA).
Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA).
British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES).
Chinese Association of Middle East Studies (CAMES).
Dutch Association for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (MOI).
European Association for Middle Eastern Studies (EURAMES).
French Association for the Study of the Arab and Muslim World (AFEMAM).
German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO).
Italian Society for the Study of the Middle East (SeSaMO).
Korean Association for Middle East Studies (KAMES).
Japan Association for Middle East Studies (JAMES).
Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA).
Midwest Association for Middle East and Islamic Studies (MAMEIS).
Mongolian Association of Middle East Studies (MAMES).
Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies.
Southeast Regional Middle East and Islamic Studies Seminar (SERMEISS).
Swiss Society for the Middle East and Islamic Cultures (SGMOIK/SSMOCI).
World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES).

Specialized Societies:
Aram Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies.
Arab American Studies Association.
Association for Israel Studies.
Association for Middle East Women’s Studies.
Association for the Study of Persianate Societies.
Assyrian Academic Society.
International Qajar Studies Association.
International Society for Iranian Studies.
Kurdish Studies Association.
Center for Lebanese Studies.
Middle East Medievalists.
Societas Iranologica Europaea.
Society for Arabian Studies.
Society for Armenian Studies.
Society for Libyan Studies.
Sudan Studies Association.
Syrian Studies Association.
Turkish Studies Association.

7. Participants:

Doctoral students working on Middle East sociology.
Faculty working on Middle East sociology.

To contribute information for this website, please contact Charles Kurzman .
Page hosted by http://web.unc.edu at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
This page was last updated on January 15, 2021.