For a historical-sociological approach to the city of Haifa

  • Roberto Cipriani University of Rome Three


The city of Haifa, in the northern part of Israel, has been the theatre of harsh clashes between Jews and Muslims for many years. Haifa was heavy involved in the Great Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 and during the 1948 the Palestinian population, about 80.000 people, was evacuated by the  Jewish militias. After the establishment of the State of Israel, several terror attacks took place in the city.

Today, several religious groups live in Haifa, with non easy relations. Nevertheless, each year the city celebrates the Holyday of Holydays, an interfaith festival.

The city presents significant traits that may help us test Tönnies’s idea of a dichotomy between community (Gemeinschaft) and society (Gesellschaft). In different moments of city life, we find features typical of community and, in certain others, characteristics typical of society.


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Themes and perspectives