Critical Globality: Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought
The historical origins of sociology have been explained in two main ways. On the one hand, classic accounts described sociology as a response to the internal transformation of European societies (typically, the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution). On the other hand, more recent revisionist scholarship traces the emergence of sociology not to Europe’s self-transformation but to European encounters with the non-European world.
Chad Alan Goldberg’s recent study Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought moves beyond the limitations of both perspectives. Highlighting the historical opposition between Jews and gentiles as an important basis and background condition for the traditional/modern binary, it suggests a rethinking of previous scholarship on Orientalism, Occidentalism, and European perceptions of America.