Sociology of Race and W. E. B. DuBois: The Path Not Taken

Aldon D. Morris

in Sociology in America

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780226090948
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226090962 | DOI:
Sociology of Race and W. E. B. DuBois: The Path Not Taken

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This chapter argues that a superior sociology of race relations containing a great deal more analytic accuracy and predictive power could have been developed if DuBois's conceptualizations of race had guided the field. DuBois completely and unequivocally rejected the thesis of Blacks' inferiority. In all of his work he attacked the accepted sociological wisdom by hammering against the presumption that Blacks were subhuman, existing outside the human fold. By assuming that Black people were full members of the human family shaped by history, culture, and social structure, DuBois constructed a realistic sociological picture of Black people. Because he saw Black people as a distinctive and creative group, he also rejected the widely held view of white sociologists that Blacks' only salvation was assimilation. As a result of rejecting both the inferiority and assimilation theses, he produced unique cultural and structural analyses of Black people, their institutions, movements, culture, leaders, shortcomings, and capabilities.

Keywords: American sociologists; race relations; sociology; Blacks; Black people; assimilation

Chapter.  13570 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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