Fathers of Sociology Essay

Pages: 3 (1012 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sociology

Spencer was also known for his defense of the natural rights perspective.

W.E.B. Du Bois' contributions to sociology may be more noteworthy than that of his predecessors, since Du Bois was probably the first major sociologist to investigate the impact of race and racism on American society. He began by conducting empirical inquiries into the conditions of blacks in America (Encyclopaedia Britannica, p.1). These studies were noteworthy for two reasons. First, they studied race in America. However, second, and perhaps more importantly for the science of sociology, they represented the first truly scientific approaches to sociology. Du Bois's motivation was not purely academic; he believed that social science could "provide the knowledge to solve the race problem" (Encyclopaedia Britannica, p.1). However, Du Bois eventually became overwhelmed by the virulence and vehemence of American racism, and believed that the race problem's real solution would have to come through ardent activism. In fact, Du Bois may be as well-known for his opposition to the accommodation policies of Booker T. Washington as he is for his contributions to sociology.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Fathers of Sociology as a Assignment

To me, it is impossible to view the modern study of sociology without considering the impact of socio-economic class on social opportunities and the relative value that individuals are assigned in society as a whole. Of course, in the United States, the concept of race is intertwined with social class, because African-Americans have yet to achieve economic equality with whites and other higher status minority groups. It is difficult to address these topics without becoming overtly political, but all of these authors make me think about the ways that those in power operate to keep those lacking power in subservient positions. For example, Du Bois would probably agree with some who posit that the disenfranchisement of black males though felony convictions for crimes that are not prosecuted as vigorously in other populations is an intentional act to keep blacks in subservient positions. Spencer might suggest that this is only possible because of the evolution of racism in our society, which has perpetuated the notion that blacks are more likely to engage in criminal behavior, despite studies coming to contrary conclusions. Marx would point out that demonizing African-Americans not only serves to keep them in subservient financial positions but also, by allowing poor whites to feel superior to similarly situated blacks, facilitates keeping lower-socioeconomic class whites in or near poverty. Finally, Durkheim would suggest that none of these theories could be established with empirical evidence.

Works Cited

Agarwal, Priya. "What are the major contributions of Emile Durkheim to sociology?" Preserve

Articles. N.p. N.d Web. 30 Sep. 2013.

Crossman, Ashley. "Herbert Spencer." About.com Sociology. N.p. 2013. Web. 30 Sep. 2013.

Crossman, Ashley. "Karl Marx." About.com Sociology. N.p. 2013. Web. 30 Sep. 2013.

W.E.B. Du Bois. Encylopaedia Britannica. 1-2. 2013. Web. 30 Sep. 2013. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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