Toward a Sociology of the Palestinians

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VOL. 6


No. 4
P. 3
Toward a Sociology of the Palestinians

It is possible to identify three distinct stages in Palestinian history which have relevance for a sociological study of the Palestinians: pre-1948, 1948- 1967 and 1967 up to the present. While each period is characterized by a specific type of social experience, the post-1948 periods saw the transformation of the Palestinians from a majority to a minority in Palestine. In spite of differences in the regional locations of the Palestinians, this subordinate minority status produced a shared historical experience and eventually the crystallization of a Palestinian identity. For this reason the post-1948 sociology of the Palestinians has to draw largely upon the sociology of minorities. More specifically, as far as the larger segment of the Palestinians is concerned (particularly those living in Israel and the occupied territories, Jordan and, to a lesser extent and for different reasons - in Lebanon, Syria and the Gulf), theirs is the sociology of the colonized.


Elia Zureik is Associate Professor of Sociology, Queens University, Ontario, Canada, and coordinator of this special issue. This study is based on the author's forthcoming book The Palestinians inIsrael, A Study in Internal Colonialism (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978).