Nicole Holzhauser and Stephan Moebius: ›Classical sociology from the metropolis‹, Special Issue, Journal of Classical Sociology, Vol. 23 (4)

London: Sage Journals 2023

This introductory article to the special issue ›Classical Sociology from the Metropolis‹ provides a comprehensive exploration of the profound influence of metropolises, particularly Berlin, on the development and discourse of classical sociology. Emphasizing the metropolis as a social space and promoter of sociological thought, it delves into the lives and works of key figures such as Georg Simmel, Robert E. Park, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frieda Wunderlich and Rose Laub Coser. Their interactions, perspectives and transnational exchanges, particularly between Berlin and other urban centres such as Chicago and New York, are highlighted, illustrating the global interconnectedness of sociological discourse. While acknowledging established sociological icons, the article also highlights the often overlooked contributions of women and scholars of colour, challenging and expanding the traditional understanding of the ›classical‹ in sociological thought. The narrative travels from the early urban sociological and feminist theories that emerged in the metropolis of the 1920s to the complexities of Marxist sociology in a divided Berlin after the Second World War. Through a curated selection of articles in the special issue, the work underlines the central role of the metropolis in shaping foundational sociological concepts and the thinkers who championed them.