A Reflexive History of Jews in Classical Sociological Theorizing of Modernity


  • David L. Swartz Department of Sociology, Boston University http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6349-7673




Classical Sociology, Jews, Modernity, Reflexive History, Bourdieu


A reflexive history of sociological thought calls for uncovering the hidden intellectual assumptions that shape social theorizing often in unfruitful ways. According to Pierre Bourdieu, small number of binary oppositions haunt contemporary thinking by forcing unreflected perceptions into taken-for-granted alternatives that divide, simplify, and rank complex and interconnected social realities into rigid hierarchical classifications. Such is the case in much theorizing of the transition from traditional to modern societies --- the modernity problematic --- that is a unifying theme in classical social theory. Chad Goldberg, in Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought, deploys this kind of reflexive analysis by showing how the Jew/gentile binary has figured, sometimes positively mostly negatively, in the theoretical imagination of many of the classical sociologists in their views of modernization.


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How to Cite

Swartz, D. L. (2020). A Reflexive History of Jews in Classical Sociological Theorizing of Modernity. Sociologica, 14(2), 321–327. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1971-8853/11517