Max Weber (1864–1920) is considered one of the canonical founders of sociology, while W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963), author of The Philadelphia Negro (1899), The Souls of Black Folk (1903), and Black Reconstruction (1935), has only recently been included in the sociological canon. We provide a historical review of what we know of their relationship in order to first ask, what did Du Bois say about Weber, and second, what did Weber say about Du Bois? We then analyze the extant scholarly discourse of published English-language academic journal articles that substantively mention both Weber and Du Bois in order to address a third question: what did other scholars say about their relationship? We provide an analysis of the variation of scholars’ perceptions on the relationship between Du Bois and Weber to illumine the dominant assumptions about founding figures and the origin story of American sociology writ large. We argue that three mechanisms of white group interests configured the marginalization of Du Bois from both mainstream and sub-disciplinary sociological theory: (1) reduction or “knowing that we do no know and not caring to know” (when knowledge is perceived as irrelevant to white group interests), (2) deportation or “not wanting to know” (when knowledge is systematically exiled), and (3) appropriation or “not knowing that we do not know”) (when dominant knowledge usurps or assimilates challenges to that knowledge).
The American Sociologist – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 2, 2018
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