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W.E.B. Du Bois and the Sociological Imagination
A Reader, 1897-1914

Edited by Robert A. Wortham

W.E.B. Du Bois and the Sociological Imagination
Paperback, 436 pages $49.95
Published: 1st August 2009
ISBN: 9781602582002
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Sociology

Introducing and presenting thirty core texts from the sociological writings of W. E. B. Du Bois, Robert Wortham’s unique reader highlights Du Bois as a multifaceted researcher and thinker who, by attempting to approach African American social life from every angle, became a pioneer in American sociology.

As this astute reader demonstrates, in addition to his profound contributions to our understanding of racial inequality in the United States, Du Bois made momentous advances in the areas of research methods, social problems, community studies, population studies, the sociology of religion, and crime and deviance. When sociology appeared to be heading toward a deductive methodology, Du Bois presented a strong argument for inductive methods, advocating for the use of a more interdisciplinary approach. Eventually, combining sociological perspectives with those of history and anthropology, he developed his landmark approach: methodological triangulation.

In this long-overdue volume, Wortham showcases the enormous influence of Du Bois’s wide-ranging sociological imagination. Organized into four major parts—“The Scientific Study of Society and Social Problems,” “Social Structure and Social Processes,” “Dimensions of Inequality,” and “Social Dynamics”—the reader concludes with a complete biography of Du Bois’ early sociological works.

Introduction: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Scientific Study of Society: 1897-1914 (Robert Wortham)

I. The Scientific Study of Society and Social Problems (Robert Wortham)
1. The Study of Society
Reading 1: Sociology Hesitant
Reading 2: The Study of the Negro Problems
2. Research Methods
Reading 3: The Scope of This Study and the Problem
Reading 4: The Twelfth Census and the Negro Problems

II. Social Structure and Social Processes (Robert Wortham)
3. Culture and Socialization
Reading 5: Strivings of the Negro People
Reading 6: The Sorrow Songs
4. Religion and Social Structure
Reading 7: The Function of the Negro Church
Reading 8: The Negro Church in Atlanta
5. Stratification
Reading 9: The Negro Race in the United States of America
Reading 10: Social Classes and Amusements
6. Deviance and Crime
Reading 11: The Causes of Crime and Poverty
Reading 12: The Extent of Negro Crime and Some Conclusions

III. Dimensions of Inequality (Robert Wortham)
7. Family
Reading 13: The Negro American Family and Sexual Morals
Reading 14: The Social Life of Country and City Families
8. Education
Reading 15: High School Education and the Outlook for Negro American Students
Reading 16: The College-Bred Negro American
9. Work
Reading 17: Faults and Accomplishments of Industrial Schools
Reading 18: The Economics of Emancipation and the Occupations of Negroes
10. Income and Poverty
Reading 19: Negro Family Income in Philadelphia’s Seventh Ward
Reading 20: The Negroes of Farmville, Virginia
11. Health
Reading 21: The Health of Negroes
Reading 22: Negro American Physicians
12. Race
Reading 23: The Relations of the Negroes to the Whites in the South
Reading 24: Race Friction between Black and White

IV. Social Dynamics (Robert Wortham)
13. Population
Reading 25: Sources of the Negro Population
Reading 26: Mortality among Negro Americans
14. Urban and Rural Life
Reading 27: The Black North in 1901: Boston
Reading 28: The Negro As He Really Is
15. Social Change
Reading 29: The Atlanta Conferences
Reading 30: Resolutions and Conclusions on Crime, Health, Work, Education and Morals

Bibliography of Du Bois’ Early Sociological Works (Robert Wortham)
Selected Further Readings on Du Bois’ Sociological Legacy (Robert Wortham)


"A marvelous showcase of Du Bois's sociological imagination. No other collection of Du Bois's writings provides such rich historical background."

—Edward J. Blum, Author of W.E.B. Du Bois, American Prophet

Robert A. Wortham (Ph.D. Emory University) is Professor of Sociology, North Carolina Central University. He is the author of the Student Study Guide for Rodney Stark’s Sociology (2006). He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 436 pages
 9in x 6in

  SOC001000, SOC026000
 Baylor University Press

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