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Janet Abu-Lughod

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Janet Abu-Lughod

Janet Abu-Lughod
Born Janet Lippman
(1928-08-03)August 3, 1928
Newark, New Jersey
Died December 14, 2013(2013-12-14) (aged 85)
New York City, New York
Nationality USA
Alma mater University of Massachusetts Amherst
Occupation Scholar
Known for Urban Studies
Spouse(s) Ibrahim Abu-Lughod m 1951, div. 1991
Children Lila, Mariam, Deena, and Jawad

Janet Lippman Abu-Lughod, (August 3, 1928 – December 14, 2013) was an American sociologist with major contributions to World-systems theory and Urban sociology.[1][2]


She was married in 1951–1991 to Ibrahim Abu-Lughod. They had four children; Lila, Mariam, Deena, and Jawad.[3]

Early life

While still at High school Janet was influenced by the works of Lewis Mumford about urbanization.[4]


The 13th century world-system. Map based on Janet Abu-Lughod's work.

Janet Abu-Lughod holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her teaching career began at the University of Illinois, took her to the American University in Cairo, Smith College, and Northwestern University, where she taught for twenty years and directed several urban studies programmes. In 1987 she accepted a professorship in sociology and historical studies at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, from which she retired as professor emerita in 1998.[5] She has published over a hundred articles and thirteen books dealing with urban sociology, the history and dynamics of the World System, and Middle Eastern cities, including an urban history of Cairo that is still considered one of the classic works on that city: Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious.

In 1976 she was awarded a John Guggenheim Memoral Fellowship for Sociology [6]

She is especially famous for her monograph Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350 where she argues that a pre-modern world system extending across Eurasia existed in the 13th Century, prior to the formation of the modern world-system identified by Immanuel Wallerstein. In addition, she argues that the "rise of the West," beginning with the intrusion of armed Portuguese ships into the relatively peaceful trade networks of the Indian Ocean in the 16th century, was not a result of features internal to Europe, but was made possible by a collapse in the previous world system.

More recently, she had published several well-received works on American cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles: America's Global Cities and Race, Space, and Riots in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

She died aged 85 in New York City on December 14, 2013.[1]



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