Israel and the exile of intellectual caliber: Local position and the absence of sociological theory

Gad Yair*, Noa Apeloig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Jews have played a decisive role in the history of sociological theory. Paradoxically, Israeli sociologists - who came from similar Jewish social backgrounds, and shared the same intellectual traditions - have not left a mark on general sociological discourse. This study sets out to solve this paradox and explain why Israeli sociologists have had a negligible impact on the development of general sociological theories. Israeli sociologists have proved to play no significant role in the development of general sociological theory because they exhibited a specific mode of thought: (a) their theoretical questions were contextual; (b) their cognitive interest was to solve practical problems; (c) their theoretical perspective reflected national priorities; and (d) they exhibited a fragmented mode of thought.The article argues that the extreme local position of Israeli sociologists in the collective Zionist project propelled them to adopt the aforementioned intellectual features and therefore marginalized their contribution to general sociological theory.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)51-69
Number of pages19
JournalSociology
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Locals
  • Sociological theory
  • State

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