The Philadelphia Negro and the Consolidation of a Worldview
THE PHILADELPHIA STUDY demands the attention of those concerned with Du Bois's political thought for several reasons. It is practically a commonplace at this point to refer to the place of Du Bois's study in the history of American sociology. 1 In that sense The Philadelphia Negro is important because it helps to disclose aspects of Du Bois's early attitudes about sociological knowledge, its nature and purposes, and the relation between knowledge and action. His work in Philadelphia also, since it represents his first systematic confrontation of the structures of Afro-American existence, is significant as an indicator of his early thinking about Afro-American life. Consideration of the assumptions that he brought to the investigation and the findings that he constructed helps locate Du Bois's thinking in relation to that of his contemporaries and suggests themes and attitudes that recur or are elaborated in his later work. The Philadelphia study in fact lays out core themes and perspectives that persisted through the remainder of his life. Finally, the idea that such a study should be commissioned in the first place originated from the social ideology prominent among liberal-progressivist reformers of the time. The fact, therefore, that Du Bois was selected to conduct the research is significant; The Philadelphia Negro is the
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: W. E. B. Du Bois and American Political Thought:Fabianism and the Color Line. Contributors: Adolph L. Reed Jr. - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 27.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.