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Lecture

Lecture 44 - March 31st.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 2S06
Professor
David Young
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 44 – March 31   B) Empirical studies continued 2) Existing theoretical ideas • The existing theoretical ideas came out of the work of white social theorists • Essentially these ideas suggested that there was something wrong with blacks • The unfavourable economic position of blacks was explained in terms of the supposed inferiority  of blacks  3) Du Boi’s study • Empirical data   o Du Bois found evidence that blacks in Philadelphia had steadily improved their lives after  they were given freedom (about a hundred years before blacks in the south  o Du Bois noted that the blacks had started churches, schools, small businesses, etc while also  entering the trades of professions (all of which countered ideas about the inferiority of blacks)  o However, Du Bois also found evidence of various problems experienced by blacks –e.g.,  unemployment, poverty, crime, excessive alcohol use, gambling, etc.  o Whites stereotyped blacks as being associated with these problems, but Du Bois discovered  that only a relatively small number of blacks experienced these problems  • Causal Factors o Du Bois argued that the problems experienced by some blacks stemmed from the  organization of society rather than racial inferiority  o He identified three casual factors that helped to explain the problems:  The legacy of slavery – situation faced by black immigrants from the South.  When they went to the Northern states they weren’t well prepared for work  because the North was highly industrialized   Competition for jobs – between whites and blacks in Philadelphia and Northern  United States. Limited the opportunities for blacks because whites were favoured  by employers. Blacks had to take jobs closely associated with slavery such as  servants or maids. Many other blacks could not find jobs   Racial discrimination­ Du Bois disputed claims the racial discrimination such as  unemployment, poverty, and crime among blacks was thought by whites to lead  to racial discrimination. Du Bois challenged this. He said its racial discrimination  that is causing unemployment, crime and poverty among blacks. Social forces  drove racial discrimination which would lead to crime, excessive alcohol use and  gambling.  • Class distinctions o Grade 1 (the blacks who were earning enough to live well) o Grade 2 (the working class living in comfortable conditions)  o Grade 3 (the poor who struggled to make an honest living) o Grade 4 (the lower class of criminals, prostitutes an
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