OXFORD HANDBOOKS SERIES
OXFORD HANDBOOKS SERIES
The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East integrates the study of the social dynamics in the Middle East within history, culture, and politics. The volume transcends a purely regional perspective to investigate the global nature of these dynamics and their impact on the life of people in the region.
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The sociology of the Middle East has been an expanding field of inquiry since the aftermath of World War II when phenomena as diverse as urbanization, internal and international migration, and peasant societies attracted the attention of scholars working on the region. The Middle East became central in key sociological debates on modernization theory and the critical responses.
The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East connects this historical trajectory with the emergence of the sociology of Islam, inspired by Max Weber. It explores how within the global community, the Middle East has become a terrain of heightened concern within the post-Cold War context, where the promising rise of civic (and often religiously-motivated) sociopolitical movements in the 1980s and 1990s has been slowly overwhelmed by the affirmation of jihadist networks,
authoritarian states, and complex supranational security apparatuses. This foundational volume starts by engaging in a critical examination of the field, starting with a historical sociology of the making of the idea itself of the Middle East and linking it with the legacy of colonialism and the evolving dynamics
of global power. In repurposing the sociology of the Middle East within a growing interdisciplinary multifield, the Handbook develops the critical argument that the exploration of social dynamics in the Middle East cannot be disjoined from the analysis of culture and politics. By connecting the vexed state-society relations in the region with movements of transformation and the affirmation of rights and creativity in the public arenas, it provides a comprehensive perspective to
investigate longstanding regional and new transregional and global dynamics and their impact on the life of people in the region.
With a diverse and international list of contributors, this plurality of perspectives offered by The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East avoids the often over-politicized approaches found in this area, making it a critical resource for academics and students in the field.