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Sociology as a field of intellectual endeavor is much older than sociology as an academic discipline. Modern sociology can be traced to the Scottish moralists such as Adam Ferguson, David Hume, Adam Smith, and possibly to Thomas Hobbes. The word "sociology" was coined by Auguste Comte, and the study of sociology powerfully promoted by Herbert Spencer; but the first chairs of sociology were those of Albion Small in Chicago (1892) and Emile *Durkheim in Bordeaux (1896). Thus, one may say that sustained interest in the structure and processes of society arose when the ancien régime toppled and a new social order was painfully ushered in. At the same time, the emancipation set free Jewish intellectual energies on a vast scale. It is a moot question whether the interest of Jewish authors was directed toward the social sciences, including sociology among them, chiefly (as Martin *Buber surmised) because of a long and deep-rooted proclivity of the Jewish mind to think in relations rather than in substance, or because of the opportunity that was offered by the social sciences of a frankly critical stance toward the existing social order, coupled with a perceived chance of improving it. But it is certain that the Jewish condition, placing as it did the Jewish community, and especially the Jewish intellectual, at the margin of society, was ideally designed to make both incentives historically effective. Consequently, Jews were prominent both among the founding fathers of academic sociology and among the spokesmen of that particular brand of social science which sprang from the Socialist movement.

Not all Marxist writers qualify as sociologists, but Karl *Marx does. Armed with a thorough knowledge of Hegelian dialectics and Ricardian economics and buttressed by data of experience from the industrial revolution in England and the political revolution in France, he based his sociology in the first place on the analysis of social stratification. However, his was not a static rank order, as in an Aristotelian world view, but, rather, incessantly exposed to internal contradiction and ensuing transformation until, after a final and decisive class struggle, the moment was reached where a classless society would come into view. The second contribution of Marx to modern sociology was what Max *Scheler and Karl *Mannheim, neither of them Marxian partisans, later called the sociology of knowledge. If the catchword for what was wrong with the working class was "alienation," meaning estrangement from the means of production, so the catchword for what was wrong with intellectuals was "ideology," meaning the erection of a false "superstructure" which was hiding, rather than laying bare, the roots of thought as well as of institutions in the material realm of life.

The comprehensiveness as well as the simplicity of the Marxian sociology, coupled with its polemic emphasis and its action orientation, have made Marxism the prevailing social philosophy not only in the communist countries but also in the "third world," and have gained adherents among intellectuals everywhere, but its universal aim has militated against its development as a specific sociology. Scientifically, the influence of Marxism was much more pronounced within the mainstream of academic sociology than among orthodox Marxists. By way of argument and counterargument, adaptation and refutation, Marx is present in the main body of sociological writing. This is true about Ferdinand Toennies, Werner *Sombart, Max Weber, Ludwig *Gumplowicz, and Karl Mannheim among the classic authors in Europe; and about such U.S. Jewish sociologists as Louis *Wirth and Alvin Gouldner (1920–1980). The same applies for representatives of conflict theory like Lewis *Coser; of the sociology of knowledge, like Kurt Wolff; for race relations specialists like Max Wolff; and a development specialist like Irving Louis Horovitz (the editor of Trans-Action, a magazine aimed at popularizing the findings of activist social scientists); for political sociologists and stratification specialists like Reinhard *Bendix and S.M. *Lipset; and urban sociologists and community theorists like Herbert Gans (1927– ), Joseph Bensman (1922– ), and Maurice Stein (1926– ). All those in this latter group are more or less influenced by Marx-derived concepts, but hardly any one of them would consider himself a strict Marxist or even a profound student of Marx. Exceptions might include Bernhard *Stern and Daniel Bell (1919– ), both of Columbia University. The latter is best known for his contributions to the understanding of "post-industrial" society.

A sharply profiled group are the founders of the Institut fuer Sozialforschung and leaders of the influential Frankfurt school of sociology, Max *Horkheimer and Theodor W. *Adorno, as well as Herbert *Marcuse; they combined Marxian and, even more so, Hegelian dialectics with Freudian depth psychology, but opposed a party-bound Russian Marxism as much as the U.S. form of ideology-blind positivism. In the case of Herbert Marcuse, once the idol of "New Left" students in two continents, a new kind of "hastening the end" attitude appeared, which cast away the classical Marxian idea of the proletariat as the bearer of the revolution and the redeemer of mankind, in favor of a dynamic interplay of the free intellect and the free eros. This is a species of anarchism, the very contradiction to the dogmatic Marxian approach related to it.

In comparison to these profound ramifications of Marxian influence in sociology, which are traced here only insofar as its major Jewish proponents are concerned, Marxian sociology proper does not seem to have been overly fruitful. Even here, some scholars, such as the Italian Achille *Loria and the Viennese Paul Wiesengruen can only be placed on the periphery of Marxian thought. On the other hand, the sociological significance of those authors who were active participants in socialist and communist partisan movements is blunted by the fact that they were primarily social philosophers, ideologists, polemicists, interpreters rather than researchers or sociological theorists, supplying a comprehensive philosophy of historical development for the faithful. Among those that should be mentioned here because of their advancement of Marxian sociology are Eduard *Bernstein, the leader of the revisionist trend in European socialism, the Austro-Marxists Max *Adler, who strove to combine Marxism and Kantianism, and Otto *Bauer, who created a Marxian theory of nationality and nationality struggles. This approach was a forerunner of those protagonists of the "third world" who, like Frantz Fanon, cast the colored peoples in the role originally designed for the industrial proletariat. Even more in this direction were Rosa *Luxemburg's and Rudolf *Hilferding's assertion that the internal contradictions of capitalism made its expansion into colonialism and imperialism an inescapable necessity. However, Rosa Luxemburg thought that nationalities would disappear in this gigantic expansion of exploitation, a belief which was not shared by the "third world" protagonists. The Hungarian György *Lukacs, more a social philosopher than a sociologist, shared with Rosa Luxemburg the opposition to positivistic and deterministic versions of Marxism and an emphasis on personal spontaneity and historical dialectics. Leo Kofler (1907–1995), Fritz Sternberg (1895–1963), Siegfried *Landshut, and George Lichtheim (1912–1973) were related to that position. The outstanding name among the Russians was Lev *Trotsky, whose concept of "combined development" serves to justify a proletarian revolution in an industrially underdeveloped country.

Jews figure prominently among the founding fathers of academic sociology. The great names here are Ludwig Gumplowicz, Emile Durkheim, and Georg *Simmel. Their backgrounds were in law, economics, history, and philosophy, but their fame rests with their achievements in sociology. Of these, Gumplowicz is the least known today because he spent his adult life, bitter with the frustrations of the Austro-Hungarian nationality struggles, in an academic backwater at the University of Graz. His embracement of a pessimistic brand of social determinism, derived from Darwinian notions, seemed justified by the circumstances. According to Gumplowicz, the individual was nothing except as a member of a group, and groups, in turn, were engaged in a fierce struggle for survival in which the bigger dog usually emerges victorious and imposes his law on the vanquished. This gloomy view of race and ethnic relations contrasted sharply with the only other serious theory of race relations, which was later developed in the U.S. by Robert E. Park and his disciples. Emile Durkheim is an entirely different figure. Agreeing with Gumplowicz that social phenomena are sui generis and more than an aggregate of individual wills, his emphasis was not so much on conflict but on solidarity. Solidarity can be of a "mechanical" nature, as in homogeneous societies, or of an "organic" character, as in societies based on the division of labor, or it can, when individualism is carried too far, be endangered by normlessness, or "anomie." But, although reflected in individual minds, society always remains supreme. As a Jew, Durkheim would provide a fascinating case study, even more than Gumplowicz. The Austrian-Pole Gumplowicz considered the Jews an anachronistic irritant because, having lost language and territory, they had ceased to be a nationality and were doomed to disappear as a separate entity. Durkheim, scion of a rabbinical family turned libre penseur, was fond of quoting the biblical sources of Hebraic law as one of the most primitive manifestations of "mechanical solidarity," but he went further than that when he demonstrated in his often quoted book, Les formes elémentaires de la vie religieuse, that religion was a social phenomenon of the first order, a deification, as it were, of the solidarity of past, present, and future generations; the totem animal was the powerful ancestor of the tribe, the personification of its strength and endurance. Religion was thus brought down to earth and placed in a historical, and yet generally valid, context. Surely, Durkheim would not have needed to travel around the globe to the Australian Arunta to prove that the Jewish people was the corpus mysticum of the Jewish religion and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the guarantor of its existence. Durkheim was prevented from stating the matter clearly in this fashion by his desire to strengthen, through his equation of religion and society, the embattled forces of la république laïque. However, as Gumplowicz would have had to revise his negative evaluation of a Jewish nationality if he had lived to see the establishment of a Jewish state, so Durkheim's theory of the social nature of religion may well serve to sanctify Israel nationalism as known today.

Georg Simmel, like Durkheim often quoted, especially among U.S. sociologists, asked the Kantian question: "How is sociology at all possible?" He arrived at the conclusion that sociology is a distinctive science because it is not so much concerned with the varying contents of social phenomena but with the forms that they have in common wherever they occur. But these forms are not forms of substance or patterns of behavior; they manifest themselves in interpersonal relations and as such are located in the minds of men. This relational emphasis has struck many readers of Simmel as lacking in concreteness, even in commitment, but it agrees with the Buberian formula about the relational inclination of Jewish thinking, the I-Thou encounter "between man and man," which for Buber must be understood as construed in the image of the encounter between man and the Creator. Indeed, Buber and Simmel were personal friends. More specifically speaking, Simmel made a significant contribution to the sociology of the Jews in his concept of the "stranger," one of his numerous formal concepts that serve to elucidate a variety of actually occurring phenomena. The "stranger," according to Simmel, is not so much the man who comes today and goes tomorrow, but the man who comes today and stays tomorrow; and the Jew throughout the ages, but especially the medieval Jew, is the prototype of the species.

From then on the role that Jews as persons and Jews as a topic have played in sociology becomes ramified and diffuse. Perhaps the most convenient way of coming to grips with it is to differentiate between the European and the U.S. scene, with Israel a possible third partner. In Europe, partly because of the Holocaust, partly for other reasons, only a few outstanding names come to mind. Franz *Oppenheimer, a follower of Gumplowicz and a student of Marx and, like Durkheim, the son of a rabbi, turned the pessimistic and cataclysmic views of his masters into evolutionary optimism by attempting to prove that exploitation and domination will cease once the monopolistic grip on landed estate is loosened. From this point of departure, Oppenheimer became interested in Zionism and was one of the initial promoters of rural cooperatives in Palestine. The Hungarian-born Karl Mannheim combined influences stemming both from Karl Marx and Max Weber in his elaboration of a "sociology of knowledge" which comprehends knowledge as embedded in the situational experience of the man of knowledge, that is, a relational, although not necessarily a relativistic, phenomenon.

Emile Durkheim, more than any other European sociologist, formed a "school"; his disciples were almost all Jews, but few of them were sociologists. One might mention here Maurice *Halbwachs, primarily a demographer, Marcel *Mauss, Durkheim's son-in-law and his successor as editor of L'Année Sociologique, Lucien *Lévy-Bruhl and his son Henry *Lévy-Bruhl; all these, going beyond Durkheim, tried to combine sociology and psychology, but their published works fall more in the fields of ethnology, social anthropology, and the history of law and institutions than in the field of sociology proper. Perhaps the most renowned disciple of Durkheim was Marc *Bloch, an economic historian and one of the initiators of a sociological school of historiography. René *Worms, on the other hand, more important as organizer than as scholar, was an adversary of Durkheim. Later French-Jewish sociologists, such as Georges *Gurvitch, Raymond *Aron, and Georges *Friedmann, were less influenced by Durkheim than by idealistic and phenomenological philosophy and by the sociological approach of Max Weber. Georges Friedmann, a specialist in industrial sociology, contributed a brilliant analysis of contemporary Israel and the impact which it might have on the future of the Jewish people. Among the U.S. interpreters of Durkheim (as well as of Simmel, Mannheim, Weber, and Toennies) are such Jewish sociologists as Louis Wirth, Kurt Wolff, Harry Alpert (1912–1977), Reinhard Bendix, Lewis Coser, and Werner J. *Cahnman. Jeffrey Alexander (1947– ), a leader in the neo-functionalist tradition, revitalized the understanding of the classic theorists, including Durkheim, Weber, and Marx. His work has been associated with what he calls the "late-Durkheimian" approach, or the "strong program" in cultural sociology (as compared to the "weak" program of the sociology of culture).

In England, Morris *Ginsberg developed a comparative sociological approach, based on evolutionary and social-psychological components; he was the editor of the Jewish Journal of Sociology. In pre-Hitlerian Germany and Austria, one encounters, apart from Oppenheimer and Mannheim, a number of interesting Jewish sociologists whose impact, however, was not far-reaching, partly because they were more social philosophers than sociologists, such as Rudolph *Eisler, Wilhelm *Jerusalem, Hermann *Kantorowicz, David *Koigen, Eugen *Rosenstock-Huessy, and the somewhat diffuse Ludwig *Stein (1859–1930), and partly because they were specialized, such as Friedrich Hertz and Walter *Sulzbach, who were students of nationalism, or Siegfried *Kracauer, whose careful analysis of white-collar employees and the social impact of the movies was not sufficiently appreciated. Rudolf *Goldscheid, one of the initiators of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Soziologie, is remarkable because of his ethically motivated opposition to Max Weber's impassioned emphasis on a "value-free" social science. It should be added in this context that Germany, along with the countries of Eastern Europe, gave birth to the sociology of the Jews. In Eastern Europe, the writings of Leon *Pinsker, *Aḥad Ha-Am, and Ber (Dov) *Borochov, although sociological in content, are essayistic in form, while the publications emanating from the Yiddish Scientific Institute (YIVO), first in Vilna, later in New York, are more in the area of social history than sociology. The German effort, on the other hand, in connection with the Verein fuer die Statistik der Juden, was demographic and therefore at least pre-sociological in nature. The foremost name is Arthur *Ruppin; others are Felix Theilhaber, Arthur *Cohen, and Jacob *Lestchinsky; the latter lived in Germany, and later in the U.S., but was at first with the YIVO circle.

The story of the participation of the Jews in U.S. sociology is entirely different from the one in Europe. Among the founding fathers of sociology in the U.S., that is, the first post-Spencerian generation, were no Jews. The same is true about the second generation. As late as the 1930s only two Jewish sociologists of some importance were on the scene, Samuel *Joseph at the predominantly Jewish New York City College, and Louis Wirth, who was soon to rise to prominence at the oldest and most prestigious department of sociology in the country, the University of Chicago. There may be a variety of reasons for this tardy development, but one of them becomes clear if one compares what happened in sociology with the corresponding data in the related field of anthropology. The founding father of cultural *anthropology, as it is known today in the U.S., undoubtedly is Franz *Boas and beside him Edward *Sapir, both German-Jewish immigrants. In the second generation, Jews are prominently represented by such students of Boas as A.A. *Goldenweiser, Robert *Lowie, Paul *Radin, L. *Spier, all of them Austrian, Polish, and Russian immigrants, as well as by the U.S.-born Ruth Benedict and Melville J. *Herskovitz. What is involved is an apparently negative reaction in academic circles to entrusting "foreigners" with the teaching of such sensitive topics as U.S. history, U.S. literature, and especially sociology, while they were "allowed" to safely concern themselves with the analysis of remote cultures such as, for instance, the ones of the Crow, Klamath, and Winnebago Indians. Nor was this negative reaction politically of a predominantly conservative flavor, as one might assume if one were to conclude from European antecedents. Rather, it was radical "progressives" among older U.S. sociologists, like Henry Pratt Fairchild, Edward A. Ross, and Robert Faris who, in Fairchild's terminology, reminded immigrants that as "guests" they must adapt themselves to their "hosts," if they wished to be "accepted" as equals. This attitude amounted to a formidable psychological barrier, especially for aspiring Jewish intellectuals.

This state of affairs totally changed after 1948 when, apart from a limited number of European refugee scholars, a great many native-born Jews entered the ranks of U.S. sociologists. By 2005, of the 50 preeminent sociologists listed at the website, approximately one-third were, or are, Jews ( About the same percentage have served as presidents of the American Sociological Association, including the president as of 2005 (Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, 1933– ).

Several scholars of Jewish descent who have been aloof to Jewish life, or even baptized, played a prominent role in U.S. sociology, especially Robert K. *Merton, the foremost structural-functional theoretician in U.S. sociology, whose striking formulations have been widely accepted, Paul F. *Lazarsfeld, the recognized leader in quantitative sociology, Neil J. *Smelser, the most prolific writer among the students of Talcott Parsons, and David *Riesman, a Unitarian, who gained fame with a sociological best seller, The Lonely Crowd. Of these, Merton and Lazarsfeld were presidents of the American Sociological Association, as were Philip M. *Hauser, a former deputy director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census and an internationally known demographer, and Reinhard Bendix, a German-born theorist and a specialist in stratification theory. Arnold *Rose, a race-relations specialist, the assistant to Gunnar Myrdal's trailblazing study of the U.S. black, An American Dilemma (1944), passed away before he could occupy the office to which he was elected. The three latter scholars were graduates of the University of Chicago and students of Louis Wirth, while Merton represented a school of thought more prominent on the Eastern seaboard. Lazarsfeld was, by training, a mathematical psychologist. Louis Wirth himself, the first Jew to be elected to the presidency of the A.S.A., never fully reconciled his intense interest in Jewish affairs with his conviction that total assimilation was both inevitable and desirable, but his importance rests chiefly with his interest in urbanism, his interpretation of major figures in European sociology, and his passionate espousal of the cause of racial equality and social reform.

Up to the mid-20th century, one can say that a historical and phenomenological trend in U.S. sociology became more pronounced, along with a continuing and major trend of quantitative and positivistic emphasis. To the former trend belonged the Jewish sociologists Cahnman, Coser, and Kurt Wolff, as well as the scholars Albert *Salomon, Bernard Rosenberg (1923–1996), Norman Birnbaum (1926– ), Sigmund *Diamond, Benjamin *Nelson (1911–1977), the urbanist Herbert Gans (1927– ), and the political sociologist, Amitai Etzioni, an Israeli-American famous for his work on socioeconomics and as founder of the Communitarian movement in the early 1990s; to the latter chiefly some of the students of Paul F. Lazarsfeld, such as Bernard R. Berelson (1912–1979), David Caplovitz (1928–1992), and Herbert Hyman (1918–1985). Mathematical and statistical sociology was furthered by Leo Goodman (1928– ) and Mark Granovetter (1943– ). The structional-functional school in sociological theory, whose major representatives among Jewish scholars are Marion J. Levy, Jr. (1918–2002) and Neil J. Smelser, represented a third trend. Other scholars occupied a variety of intermediary positions in this regard, such as the criminologists Herbert *Bloch and Albert K. Cohen (1918– ), the political sociologists Seymour M. Lipset and Walter B. Simon (1918– ), the urban sociologist Alvin *Boskoff, and the industrial sociologists Peter Blau (1918–2002), Robert Dubin (1916– ), Philip Selznick (1919– ), and Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1943– ).

In the second half of the 20th century, sociology developed in several directions in which Jewish sociologists played significant roles. These included challenges to the hegemony of both functionalist (Parsons) and conflict (Marxist) theory in the development of phenomenology, symbolic interactionism and postmodernism; the development of global macro-sociology, the concept of "multiple modernities" and the impact of world systems; population studies on both the macro (demography) and micro (networking) levels; the rejection of the notion of "value-free" sociology and the awareness of the influence of social position on the development and impact of sociology, and its extension to the sociology of race, gender, and class relations, their intersections and especially the development of feminist and queer theory; and the developing field of the sociology of Jewry.

Symbolic interactionism, a term coined by Herbert Blumer, grew out of the "Chicago school" and was developed by a number of prominent Jewish sociologists, including the ethnomethodologist Harold Garfinkel (1917– ); Erving Goffman (1922–1982), whose dramaturgical approach to impression management and contributions to role theory became a classic of sociology, most famously through his The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. It incorporated Simmelian micro-perspective on interaction with a macro-level analysis of Durkheimian ritual behavior (Adams, 2003). Alfred Schutz contributed the idea of "multiple realities" in a phenomenological perspective contributing to the sociology of knowledge and knowing. Stanley Milgram (1933–1984) had a major impact on social science with what came to be known as the "Milgram experiments," which demonstrated that authority figures could command obedience to extraordinary measures even in the United States by virtue of their position; he also developed the concept of the six degrees of separation, an early development of networking theory.

Bridging macro- and micro-perspectives, and theory and empiricism, Norbert Elias (1890–1990) developed "process" or "figurational" sociology, his most prominent contribution being The Civilizing Process. Synthesizing German, American, French, and British social scientific advances through the 1930s, he explored the historical development of "civilized" identity and habitus, the history of emotions, the part played by state formation in that development, and the dynamics of national identity-formation. National identity-formation has also been explored by Erik Erikson (1902–1999) and Alex *Inkeles (1920– ), who has focused on the manifestation of "modern" identity as well as convergence and divergence in "modern" societies. Other Jews contributing to such global sociology include Immanuel Wallerstein (1930– ), who furthered the concept of the world system and global economic and political stratification; Lewis *Feuer (1912–2002), who began his career as a radical Trotskyist, a scholar of Marx and Hegel, with a major focus on the study of imperialism (; and Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt (1923– ), whose concept of "multiple modernities" challenged the linear and unified concept of modernity. Edward Shils (1910–1995), distinguished service professor in the Committee on Social Thought and in Sociology, was internationally renowned for his research on the role of intellectuals and their relations to power and public policy, following in a Weberian tradition. This cultural sociology was echoed in other Jewish sociologists, including Neil Postman (1931–2003), a media theorist, who studied how culture was affected by technology (or "Technopoly" as he called one of his books). One could also say that Thomas Kuhn (1922–1996) was a cultural sociologist in that he studied the impact of shifts in scientific culture or paradigms on society and science.

Jews figured among some of the most prominent demographers in the last half of the 20th century, including Ronald Freedman (1917– ), who established and directed the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan, and with Howard Schuman helped establish the on-going Detroit Area Study (DAS) to analyze social trends in the area; Sidney Goldstein (1927– ), generally recognized as the "dean of demographers of American Jewry" and who like Freedman was president of the Population Association of America; Calvin Goldscheider (1941– ); Nathan Keyfitz (1913– ), who has made significant contributions to fertility, aging, and environmental impacts of population growth and who founded the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria; Robert Hauser (1942– ), director of the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and collaborator on the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study of life course and aging; and Harriet Presser (1936– ), founding director of the Center on Population, Gender and Social Inequality at the University of Maryland. Both Freedman and Presser were presidents of the Population Association of America. Jewish sociologists have also been among the leaders in the field of applied sociology, including Daniel Yankelovich (1924– ), founder of the first private firm to measure and analyze shifting trends in American social and cultural values, Ross Koppel (1948– ), president of the Social Research Corporation; and Judith Auerbach (1956– ), vice president of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, who also served as director of the Behavioral and Social Science Program of National Institutes of Health (U.S.).

Several U.S. Jewish sociologists have made their mark in race and intercultural relations studies, or more generally, studies of inequality, partly because the field explicitly or implicitly includes Jewish topics, but chiefly because, for a variety of reasons, the problems of all minorities appeal to them. Early names to be mentioned here are Leo Srole (1908–1993), a collaborator with W. Lloyd Warner in the ethnic aspects of the much-discussed "Yankee City" studies; Melvin *Tumin (1919–1994), whose monographs deal with situations in North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala; Milton *Gordon (1918– ) and Nathan *Glazer, profound students of the processes of assimilation and ethnic identification in U.S. life; Milton Barron (1918– ) and Stanley Bigman (1915– ), authors of pioneering studies on intermarriage; Seymour Leventman (1930– ), coauthor of Children of the Gilded Ghetto (1961); Arnold Rose; Peter Rose (1933– ); Raymond Mack (1927– ); and Immanuel Wallerstein in his Africanist studies. Oscar Lewis (1914–1970) focused his attention on the culture of poverty, through ethnographic portrayals of peasant communities in Mexico, Latin America, and Northern India, as well as poor Hispanics in the United States. Stanley Lieberson (1933– ) received the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award for his A Piece of the Pie: Blacks and White Immigrants since 1880. His work has focused on language usage and conflict, fashion, naming customs, and other nuances of cultural diversity. One of his latest books, A Matter of Taste: How Names, Fashions, and Culture Change, included a section on Jewish naming customs.

Other sociologists, like Sophia *Robison, Morris *Janowitz, and Werner J. Cahnman, made contributions in the field of race and intercultural relations, but their main interests are in other fields: Sophia Robison's in criminology, Janowitz' in military sociology, Cahnman's in the development of typological theory, especially in connection with historical studies.

One would be remiss to discuss the field of inequality without its more recent developments in terms of the intersections of race, class, and gender, feminism, and queer theory. Gender studies and feminism began with Betty Friedan (1921–2006), and continued through Jessie Bernard (1903–1996), who helped established the scholastic foundations of modern feminism, Nancy Chodorow (1944– ) on the reproduction of mothering, and Judith Butler (1956– ), among others. The latter, who credits her first realized interest in social philosophy to her early synagogue experiences, is chief representative of a body of intellectuals who have contributed to the reformulation of social theory in relationship to the "new" social movements such as the 1960s' student movements, the women's movements rekindled in the 1970s and beyond, race and ethnic pride movements stemming from the Civil Rights era of the late 1960s, and the gay and lesbian liberation movements of the 1980s and beyond. Uncovering the sexual politics of the private sphere, and protesting the exclusion of women from the public sphere, state, and economy, her work (most famously Gender Trouble), as well as that of others, has initiated debate over the relationships of culture, identity and representation.

Out of reluctance by many sociologists to publicize their own Jewish identity for fear of reprisal in the academy, studies of the Jewish minority were not commonly undertaken until the 1960s legitimized ethnic roots and attention. In the focus on multiculturalism, however, Jews were often obscured as part of the white majority (aptly captured in a study by Karen Brodkin (1941– ), How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says about Race in America). Therefore, the study of American Jews became essentially a parochial pursuit rather than part of the more mainstream study of ethnic, racial, and religious minorities.

As far as the image of the Jew and the treatment of Jewish topics in sociological literature are concerned, there are differences to be observed as one moves from Europe to the U.S., but also continuities. In Europe the scholarly interest in Jewish matters was predominantly socioeconomic in nature, and it was cultivated primarily by Christian authors. Albert Schaeffle (1831–1903), writing about the Viennese stock exchange crash in 1873, considered the Jews as "naturally belonging to the financial faction." Werner *Sombart's related but historically buttressed thesis that the calculating spirit of the Jews was one of the prime factors in the rise of modern capitalism was contested by Max Weber, who characterized the Jewry of the dispersion as a "Pariavolk" whose economic activities were peripheral, not central, to significant occidental developments. Jewish traders, Weber maintained, were not instrumental in bringing about the modern factory as a rationally conceived and continuing enterprise. However, Weber analyzed the "ethical," or "missionary," Hebrew prophecy as the first step on the way to the rational "disenchantment of the world" which later culminated in the Puritan ethic and its secular aftermath. Ferdinand Toennies (1855–1936) occupies middle ground between Sombart and Weber inasmuch as he sees the Jews internally as the remnant of a former "Gemeinschaft," but in their external relations as one of the forces promoting the expanding modern Gesellschaft. This discussion has not been continued in the U.S., but Georg Simmel's concept of the "stranger" has led to an interesting elaboration in Robert E. Park's and Everett Stonequist's concept of the "marginal man" as "one who is poised in psychological uncertainty between two or more social worlds; reflecting in his soul the discords and harmonies, repulsions and attractions of these worlds." Park had in mind cultural as well as physical hybrids, emancipated Jews as well as light-skinned blacks. One of Park's disciples, Howard Becker (1899–1960) applied the "marginal man" concept to structural situations in talking about "marginal trading peoples" while Park's Jewish student Louis Wirth analyzed the ghetto as a state of mind marked by marginality; an extended controversy has followed in which a number of Jewish authors, among them Amitai Etzioni and Aaron Antonovsky (1923–1994), participated.

Last, but certainly not least in the present context, ought to be mentioned scholars whose major if not exclusive interest is in the Jewish field. Jewish topics have occupied a place in U.S. sociological literature; however, research on Jews tends to be isolated in Jewish publications rather than well-integrated in appropriate mainstream journals. However, some trends are ascertainable. While an analysis of papers published in three leading sociological journals (American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces) in the years 1929–64 showed that 74 of the published papers dealt with topics referring to intergroup relations (acculturation, assimilation, intermarriage, prejudice, discrimination, antisemitism, etc.), 51 papers dealt predominantly, although not exclusively, with internal topics of Jewish life (23 with family and youth, 15 with socioeconomic and demographic topics, 13 with Jewish religion and institutions). A comparable analysis of dissertations on Jewish topics (cf. Isacque Graeber, Jewish Themes in American Doctoral Dissertations, 1933–64) yielded 53 intergroup relations studies against 47 internal and, in part, structural studies, but the total figures include, along with those in sociology, historical, anthropological and psychological studies, thus impairing comparability. A review of sociological work on American Jewry that was published 1970–80 (Heilman, 1982) lamented the parochialism of the sociology of American Jewry. A later analysis of social science papers appearing in the electronic database JSTOR and dealing with topics related to American Jews (Burstein, 2004) revealed 129 articles, 19 dealing with politics, 29 with family (including fertility and intermarriage), and 26 with educational and economic attainment. Only nine articles dealt with (internal) Jewish religious practices or organizational life. However, the articles tended to cite research written by and for other Jews more than mainstream theories or problematics, indicating a persistent parochialism.

The review was incomplete, since it did not include some of the primary sources for publishing social science research on Jewry (which are not indexed in JSTOR): Jewish Social Studies, a publication of the Conference on Jewish Relations which began in 1938; Commentary, established in 1946, which aims to present intelligent and accessible analysis of the social character of American Jews; Judaism, begun in 1951 and including many sociological articles; Midstream, started in 1954; The Jewish Journal of Sociology, published bi-annually since 1958 out of the United Kingdom; Contemporary Jewry, the official journal of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry, which began publishing in 1974 as Jewish Sociology and Social Research, taking its present name in 1976; or the major journals of sociology of religion (such as Sociology of Religion, Review of Religious Research, Journal of the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Contemporary Religion) and ethnicity (such as Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnicities, Social Identities). While analyses of Jewish institutional life and identification are rarer in the latter journals than comparisons of Jews to other religious and U.S. denominations, sociological topics focusing on Jews are often included.

The analysis of Jewish institutional life and of the changing factors in Jewish identification has developed considerably in the last several decades. Three surveys of American Jews (the 1971, 1990, and 2000–01 National Jewish Population Studies) have resulted in serious analysis of American Jews, often in comparison to the wider American population and Israeli Jews. The 1990 National Jewish Population Studies resulted in 11 monographs, seven of which were published as a special series by SUNY Press. Topics included denominationalism, gender roles, Jewish and American culture, Jewish Baby Boomers and children, internal migration. Further, an impressive body of community studies has been collected (over 90), summaries of 45 of which have been collected by Ira Sheskin and published under the auspices of the North American Jewish Data Bank, currently housed at the University of Connecticut under the directorship of Arnold Dashevsky.

Early scholars of Jewish sociology included Nathan Goldberg (1903–1979), Erich *Rosenthal, Oscar Janowsky (1900–1993), Bernard Lazerwitz, C. Bezalel Sherman (1896–1971), Benjamin F. Ringer (1920– ), Victor Sanua (1920– ), Benjamin *Halpern, Will Herberg (1907–1977), Albert Vorspan (1924– ), Mannheim Shapiro (1913–1981), Charles S. Liebman (1934–2003), and Albert Gordon (1901–1968); the last was a rabbi turned sociologist. Building on these early foundations, and incorporating new data and approaches, American Jewish sociology has developed along several lines, including: general analyses or theories of American Jewish life (Marshall *Sklare, Charles Silberman (1925– ), Calvin Goldscheider (1941– ), Seymour Martin Lipset, Charles Liebman (1934–2003); acculturation and assimilation (Steven Cohen, Calvin Goldscheider); ethnicity (Steven Steinberg (1944– ); Herbert Gans, especially with his development of the concept "symbolic ethnicity" and, later, "symbolic religiosity")); social history and especially portraits of particular communities and groups of Jews (Samuel Heilman (1946– ); Jack Wertheimer (1948– ); Lynn Davidman (1955– ); Debra Kaufman (1941– )); denominational studies and Jewish pluralism (Bernard Lazerwitz, Arnold Dashefsky (1941– )); American Zionism (Chaim Waxman (1941– ); Jonathan Woocher (1946– ), who suggested that Israel-oriented sentiment and activity formed the basis of American Jewish "civil religion"); Jewish politics and social movements (Daniel *Elazar (1934–1999); Jewish feminism (see more detail in Women in Sociology below); Jews and economics (Eva Etzioni-Halevy (1934– ); Barry Chiswick (1942– )); family, gender roles, intermarriage (Moshe (1936– ) and Harriet Hartman (1948– ), Rela Mintz Geffen (1943– )); intermarriage (Rodney Stark (1934– ) and Charles Stember (1916–1982), participants in studies on antisemitism that were sponsored by the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and the AJC (American Jewish Committee), respectively; Egon Mayer (1944–2004), Bruce Phillips, E. Rosenthal, Sylvia Barack Fishman); education (Walter Ackerman (1918– ); Steven Steinberg; Harold Himmelfarb (1944– )); demography (Calvin Goldscheider (1941– ); Sidney and Alice *Goldstein (1936– )); language and Jewish culture (Max Weinrich, Elihu Katz (1926– ), and Sylvia Barack Fishman).

The sociology of Jewish religion began, perhaps, with Mordecai M. Kaplan's Judaism as a Civilization, continued with myriad publications of Jacob Neusner, Stephen Sharot's (1943– ) focus on Jewish religious movements in comparative perspective, and S.N. Eisenstadt's Jewish Civilization: The Jewish Historical Experience in a Comparative Perspective (1992). The contribution of the Diaspora to the development of Jewish life has been explored by Daniel Boyarin (1946– ) and Jonathan Boyarin, and the comparative perspective within Judaism, surveying the various Diasporas as well as Israel, has been greatly developed by Eliezer Ben-Raphael (1938– ) and colleagues (e.g., Contemporary Jewries: Convergence and Divergence, 2003).

The beginnings of sociology in Israel were European. One trend was clearly demographic, starting with Arthur Ruppin and competently continued by the scientific director of the Israel Central Statistical Bureau, Roberto *Bachi, but, another, more descriptive than analytic, and represented by Zvi Rudy (1900–1972) and Aryeh *Tartakower, had East European antecedents. Structural-functionalism dominated Israeli sociology as it was established at Hebrew University's department of sociology, founded in 1948 by Martin Buber, followed as chair by Shmuel N. *Eisenstadt (1923– ), Jacob Katz (1904–1998), Joseph Ben-David (1920–1986), and Yonina Talmon (1923–66), later joined by Judith Shuval (1926– ), Simon Herman (1912– ), and Henry Rosenfeld (1911–1986). The first student to complete her studies in the department, Rivka Bar-Yosef, later became a faculty member and chair. Chaim Adler (focusing on education), Dov Weintraub (1926–85), Erik Cohen (1932– ), Moshe Lissak (1928– ), and Elihu Katz joined in the next few years, rounding out a major cross-institutional research plan on the emerging Israeli society, including the absorption of immigrants (Eisenstadt), youth movements (Ben-David), kibbutz (Talmon), education (Reuven Kahane), and the moshav (Weintraub). A macrosociological and theoretical emphasis allowed the work to transcend the small-scale case study, and continues to characterize some of its most renowned members, such as Victor Azarya (1946– ), Baruch Kimmerling (1939– ), Nachmun Ben-Yehuda (1948– ), and Erik Cohen. Katz went on to found Hebrew University's Communications Institute, as well as to head the task force charged with the introduction of television broadcasting in the late 1960s. Along with this institutional emphasis, Uriel Foa (1916–1990), Judith Shuval, and Louis *Guttman, the latter of which founded the Israel Institute of Applied Social Research, were early representatives of a positivistic and quantitative sociology, some of which continues at the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew University, where Sergio DellaPergola is a chief demographer of Jewry worldwide. Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Social Sciences was founded in the late 1950s with a challenge to the dominant functionalist approach of studying Israeli society, starting with its first chair, Yonaton Shapiro. Applying sociology to some of the country's greatest dilemmas, it developed such foci as the Institute of Labor Relations and a Public Policy Program. Its faculty have studied democracy in Israeli society (Ephraim Yuchtman-Yaar (1935) and Yochanan Peres) and other aspects of political sociology (Hanna Herzog), work and labor markets (Rina Shapira (1932– ), Moshe Semyonov (1946– ), Noah Lewin-Epstein, and Haya Stier), education and stratification (Hanna Ayalon, Yossi Shavit) as well as ethnicity and Jewish identity in Israel and globally (Eliezer Ben-Rafael). The challenge to the functionalist perspective was further developed at Haifa University, with one of its major proponents Sammy Smooha (1941– ), whose research focus on the disadvantaged Asian-African immigrants and Israeli Arabs showed the lack of unity and consensus in the society. A Marxist perspective was further developed at Haifa University with such researchers as Shlomo and Barbara Swirski, Deborah Bernstein (1956–, focusing on gender), and Shulamit and Henry Rosenfeld (focusing on the kibbutz). Israeli feminism developed in the mid-1980s with such scholars as Dafna Izraeli (1937–2003), Deborah Bernstein, and Barbara Swirski. More recently, a post-Zionist perspective incorporating the effects of "colonization" after the 1967 war on Israeli society and the Palestinians has developed in Israel. The establishment of the Israel Sociological Society in 1967 marked a turning point in the development of the sociological occupation in Israel, moving it beyond the confines of academic institutions and setting up its own nationwide community for professional as well as academic purposes. In addition to five major universities in Israel and their faculty and research staff, numerous non-Israeli social scientists have done studies in Israel, especially in and about kibbutzim. A number of Israeli faculty have joint appointments abroad and/or spend sabbaticals abroad, which further connects Israeli sociology to global conferences and developments.


American Sociological Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Sociology, 2004. Final Report. (L. Davidman and S. Tenenbaum); L. Davidman and S. Tenenbaum, "Towards a Feminist Sociology of American Jews," in: L. Davidman and S. Tenenbaum (eds.), Feminist Perspectives on Jewish Studies (1994); M.J. Deegan (ed.), Women in Sociology (1991); A. Goetting and S. Fenstermaker (eds.), Individual Voices, Collective Visions: Fifty Years of Women in Sociology (1995). S.R. Reinharz, A Contextualized Chronology of Women's Sociological Work (1993); idem, "Sociology," in: P.E. Hyman and D.D. Moore (eds.), Jewish Women in America (1997), 2:1273–78.