The Case for Scholarly Reparations

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-01-12 18:51Z by Steven

The Case for Scholarly Reparations

Berkeley Journal of Sociology
2016-01-11

Julian Go, Professor of Sociology
Boston University

Race, the history of sociology, and the marginalized man – lessons from Aldon Morris’ book “The Scholar Denied”

If Aldon Morris in The Scholar Denied is right, then everything I learned as a sociology PhD student at the University of Chicago is wrong. Or at least everything that I learned about the history of sociology. At Chicago, my cohort and I were inculcated with the ideology and ideals of Chicago School. We were taught that American sociology originated with the Chicago School. We were taught that sociology as a scientific enterprise, rather than a philosophical one, began with Albion Small and his successors; that The Polish Peasant by W.I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki was the first great piece of American sociological research; and that the systematic study of race relations and urban sociology originated with Robert E. Park and his students. We were taught that we should not only read the Chicago school but also venerate it, model our work after it, and pass its wisdom on through the generations. But The Scholar Denied shows that the Chicago school was not the founding school of sociology in the United States. Neither Small, Park, Thomas and Znaniecki nor their students originated scientific sociology. The real credit goes to W.E.B. Du Bois, whom leading representatives of the Chicago School like Robert E. Park marginalized – perhaps wittingly. Moreover, and perhaps more contentiously, The Scholar Denied suggests that Park plagiarized Du Bois, and that venerated sociologists like Max Weber were perhaps more influenced by Du Bois rather than the other way around.

The implications are far-reaching. If the Chicago school is not the originator of sociology, then why spend so much time reading, thinking about, or debating it? If Morris is right, graduate students should instead focus upon the real innovators and founders: Du Bois and his “Atlanta School” of sociology. It only struck me after reading this book that Du Bois had barely if ever appeared on any my graduate school syllabi. Yet, this is not a question of adding more thinkers to the sociology canon. If Morris is right, there is an argument to made that Du Bois and the Atlanta School should replace the Chicago School, not just be added alongside it. For, with The Scholar Denied, Du Bois can no longer be seen as the “first black sociologist”, the originator of “African-American sociology,” or the one who pioneered the study of African-American communities. He must instead be seen as the first scientific sociologist who is the rightful progenitor of American sociology itself…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Rewriting the History of American Sociology

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-08-31 01:14Z by Steven

Rewriting the History of American Sociology

Northwestern University News
Evanston, Illinois
2015-08-26

Hilary Hurd Anyaso, Law and Social Sciences Editor

Groundbreaking book argues W.E.B. Du Bois is primary founder of modern sociology

EVANSTON, Ill. — In his groundbreaking new book, Northwestern University’s Aldon Morris has done no less than rewrite the history of sociology by making a compelling case that black sociologist and activist W.E.B. Du Bois was the primary founder of modern sociology in America at the turn of the 20th century. It is a sociology that bases its theoretical claims on rigorous empirical research.

Pulling from over a decade of research in primary sources such as personal letters, conference proceedings and scholarly writings, “The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology” (University of California Press, August 2015) argues that power, money, politics and the ideology of white supremacy led to W.E.B. Du Bois being “written out” of the founding of sociology. Moreover his intellectual breakthroughs were marginalized in the field for the last century.

Morris, the Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, argues that Du Bois’ pioneering work was often characterized in the academy as unscientific and politically motivated while systemic racial biases colored the intellectual work of leading white sociologists, even those with liberal bents throughout the 20th century.

In Morris’ gripping narrative, Robert E. Park, the white University of Chicago scholar considered to be one of the major architects of modern-day sociology, and Booker T. Washington, the most famous and powerful black man in America between 1895 and 1915, play a central role in marginalizing the pioneering work that Du Bois and other black scholars produced at Atlanta University, a historically black institution.

The Du Bois-Atlanta School profoundly influenced the discipline by laying the intellectual foundations of scientific sociology, Morris argues, noting that Max Weber, the famous German sociologist and philosopher, was significantly influenced by Du Bois’ work…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2015-08-31 01:08Z by Steven

The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology

University of California Press
August 2015
320 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520276352
Adobe PDF E-Book ISBN: 9780520960480
ePUB Format ISBN: 9780520960480

Aldon D. Morris, Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

In this groundbreaking book, Aldon D. Morris’s ambition is truly monumental: to help rewrite the history of sociology and to acknowledge the primacy of W. E. B. Du Bois’s work in the founding of the discipline. Calling into question the prevailing narrative of how sociology developed, Morris, a major scholar of social movements, probes the way in which the history of the discipline has traditionally given credit to Robert E. Park at the University of Chicago, who worked with the conservative black leader Booker T. Washington to render Du Bois invisible. Morris uncovers the seminal theoretical work of Du Bois in developing a “scientific” sociology through a variety of methodologies and examines how the leading scholars of the day disparaged and ignored Du Bois’s work.

The Scholar Denied is based on extensive, rigorous primary source research; the book is the result of a decade of research, writing, and revision. In exposing the economic and political factors that marginalized the contributions of Du Bois and enabled Park and his colleagues to be recognized as the “fathers” of the discipline, Morris delivers a wholly new narrative of American intellectual and social history that places one of America’s key intellectuals, W. E. B. Du Bois, at its center.

The Scholar Denied is a must-read for anyone interested in American history, racial inequality, and the academy. In challenging our understanding of the past, the book promises to engender debate and discussion.

Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Race and the Birth of American Sociology
  • 1. The Rise of Scientific Sociology in America
  • 2. Du Bois, Scientific Sociology, and Race
  • 3. The Du Bois–Atlanta School of Sociology
  • 4. The Conservative Alliance of Washington and Park
  • 5. The Sociology of Black America: Park versus Du Bois
  • 6. Max Weber Meets Du Bois
  • 7. Intellectual Schools and the Atlanta School
  • 8. Legacies and Conclusions
  • Notes
  • References
  • Illustration Credits
  • Index
Tags: , , , , , , ,