W.E.B. Du Bois and the Sociological Imagination

W.E.B. Du Bois and the Sociological Imagination

A Reader, 1897-1914

Edited by Robert A. Wortham

436 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781602582002
  • Published: August 2009



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.