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The Social Theory of Du Bois

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The Social Theory of Du Bois

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The Social Theory of W.E.B Du Bois
Aaron Josuah Cabahug
Sociology 102
4/21/2013
Abby Mosher

The Social Theory of W.E.B Du Bois
Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim are widely recognized as the trinity of sociological theory. While these three sociologists were trailblazing social theorists who enhanced the study of human behavior and its relationship to social institutions, other, more contemporary scholars were just as innovative - one of those scholars being W. E. B. Du Bois. W. E. B. Du Bois was a political and literary giant of the 20th century, publishing over twenty books and thousand of essays and articles throughout his life. W. E. B Du Bois is arguably one of the most imaginative, perceptive, and prolific founders of the sociological discipline. In addition to leading the Pan-African movement and being an activist for civil rights for African Americans, Du Bois was a pioneer of urban sociology, an innovator of rural sociology, a leader in criminology, the first American sociologist of religion, and most notably the first great social theorist of race. The work of W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) has recently become recognized for its significant contributions to sociological theory. Although Du Bois himself was overwhelmingly concerned with the scientific perspective of "value free" sociological research, later social theorists have found his thoughts on race to offer one of the first instances of the articulation of standpoint theory. This theoretical perspective is anything but value free, because of the self-conscious efforts of the researcher to look at the social world from the vantage point of minority groups. Feminists, multiculturalists, and even postmodernists have come to recognize the importance of the black point of view found in Du Bois's work. They have also come to appreciate Du Bois for his focus on local knowledge and practices.

W. E. B. Du Bois was an important American thinker. Poet, philosopher, economic historian,...