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Middle East Studies for the New MilleniuInfrastructures of Knowledge$
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Seteney Shami and Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479827787

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479827787.001.0001

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Middle East in Sociology, Sociology in the Middle East

Middle East in Sociology, Sociology in the Middle East

(p.82) Chapter Two Middle East in Sociology, Sociology in the Middle East
Middle East Studies for the New Milleniu

Reşat Kasaba

NYU Press

In the post-9/11 environment, characterized by high security surveillance, the debates about the relationship between academic pursuits and political interests, and the related question of whether area studies or the scientific study of society provides the best way to respond to “national needs,” have gained renewed currency. This chapter examines some of these discussions from a historical perspective by focusing on the relationship between Middle East studies (MES) and sociology as it evolved over the past century or so. The first part of the chapter concentrates on three distinct periods in the history of the relationship between sociology and MES. In each of these periods, sociology and MES started in their separate but parallel trajectories. The second part considers the history of sociology in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Unlike in the United States, the connection between area studies and sociology has always been close in MENA.

Keywords:   Middle East studies, sociology, North Africa, MENA, area studies

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