Classical And Contemporary Sociological Theory, 3rd Edition by Scott Appelrouth – Test Bank

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Classical And Contemporary Sociological Theory, 3rd Edition by Scott Appelrouth – Test Bank

06TB_Georg Simmel

 

  1. For Simmel, the essence of society lies in
  2. the relations between forces of production

*b. the interactions between individuals and groups

  1. the interactions between strangers
  2. the relations between religion and society

 

  1. Simmel believes society and the individuals that compose it constitute an interdependent
  2. singularity
  3. exchange value
  4. stranger society

*d. duality

 

  1. Simmel was not interested necessarily in interaction itself, but rather the ______ in which interaction takes place.
  2. content
  3. sociability

*c. forms

  1. sociation

 

  1. The fact that modern, functionally specific organizations require only a “part” of the self illustrates which of Simmel’s concepts?
  2. conflict
  3. sociability

*c. web of association

  1. exchange value

 

  1. Simmel defines the “tragedy of culture” as:
  2. The source of economic value for goods and goals.
  3. The domination of individual will by the products of human creativity.

*c. The end of economic exchange.

  1. Society’s move from the small, rural town to the metropolis.

 

  1. The impersonality and generalizability of money as a medium of exchange transforms
  2. the nature of forms

*b. the nature of social interaction

  1. the nature of conflict
  2. the nature of the stranger

 

  1. Simmel’s basic theoretical orientation as established by the authors is
  2. Nonrational, collective

*b. Nonrational, individual

  1. Rational, collective
  2. Rational, individual

 

  1. According to Simmel, the source of value is
  2. money

*b. sacrifice

  1. the amount of labor time necessary to produce a good
  2. intrinsic to the good or product

 

  1. For Simmel, the source of economic value is:
  2. Determined in interaction

*b. The measure of sacrifice necessary to attain goods or goals

  1. Listed on the price tag of a good
  2. Relative to goods or goals

 

  1. Simmel’s orientation on the issue of economic value would be categorized as:

*a. individual, nonrational

  1. individual, rational
  2. collective, nonrational
  3. collective, rational

 

  1. Which of the following would not be considered a “positive” function of conflict?
  2. it makes possible the enduring of people we dislike or who have power over us.
  3. it is a sign of more deeply emotional and caring relationships
  4. it leads to feelings of indifference between individuals

*d. it produces solidarity and greater integration within a group

 

  1. A “positive” function of conflict is to:
  2. Create discord within a group.

*b. Achieve unity in an interaction by resolving divergent dualisms.

  1. Annihilate one of the conflicting parties.
  2. Terminate sociation.

 

  1. Which of the following can NOT occur according to Simmel when individuals are faced with obstacles bearing a measure of conflict?
  2. Feelings of group solidarity
  3. “harmony of interest”
  4. cooperation

*d. distraction

 

  1. Simmel defines “sociability” as:

*a. The play form of association

  1. The purest and most concentrated form of all human interaction
  2. The duality between conformity and differentiation
  3. The highest conception indicated

 

  1. A particular kind of sociability that epitomizes the duality of social life discussed in the chapter is
  2. forms

*b. flirtation

  1. conflict
  2. content

 

  1. An important element of sociability which contributes to its frictionless quality is its:

*a. democratic nature

  1. organizational nature
  2. procedural nature
  3. political nature

 

  1. The __________ is the social type which is both near and far at the same time.
  2. Other
  3. Punk
  4. Metropolitan person

*d. Stranger

 

  1. In contending that the stranger is “near and far at the same time,” Simmel notes that the stranger
  2. never stays long in a particular community
  3. shares many similarities with those he interacts with
  4. is unable to provide important services to the community

*d. shares only the most general or common features with those he interacts with

 

  1. Which of the following was the classical example of the “the stranger” for Simmel?
  2. African Americans

*b. European Jews

  1. Chinese Americans
  2. South Africans

 

  1. Simmel argues that fashions

*a. simultaneously express individuality and conformity

  1. require the upper classes to adopt the styles of the lower classes
  2. becomes more “fashionable” as more people adopt the style
  3. are restricted in their development by practical concerns

 

  1. In discussing the concept of fashion, Simmel states “as fashion spreads, it
  2. becomes more exclusive”

*b. gradually goes to its doom”

*c. increases its potency”

*d. mimics religion”

 

  1. In “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” Simmel argues that the metropolitan person adopts a “blasé attitude.” By “blasé attitude” he means:
  2. An intensifying of emotional reactions
  3. An un-intellectual approach to life

*c. A psychological device that protects the individual from becoming overwhelmed by the     intensity of city life

  1. An attitude necessary to foster a rich emotional life

 

  1. The metropolitan person is bombarded with sensory impressions that lead him to adopt, out of necessity, an _______ approach to life.
  2. emotional

*b. intellectualized

  1. idealized
  2. functional

 

  1. Which of the following combines with the blasé attitude to hinder the development of an emotionally meaningful life?
  2. anomie

*b. money economy

  1. verstehen
  2. forces of production

 

  1. How is Simmel’s analysis of urban life similar to the work of Marx and Weber?
  2. all embrace post-modernism
  3. all critique feudalism

*c. all critique modernity

  1. all embrace industrialization

 

  1. Simmel believes society and the individuals that compose it exist as interdependent duality.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. Sociologists following Simmel’s perspective focus on the content of interactions.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. Simmel’s tragedy of culture is reminiscent of Marx’s commodity fetishism.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. According to Simmel, the source of value is labor power.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. From Simmel’s perspective conflict can provide positive benefits for individuals and society.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. The play form of association is termed sociability.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. Sociability establishes an artificial world which is considered frictionless.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. Being assigned or identified as a type of individual is a product of one’s relationship to others.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. The stranger shares many similarities with the individuals he interacts with.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. The stranger can also be identified as the outcast of a group.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. According to Simmel, fashion only symbolizes conformity to the group.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. Contemporary society contains a Simmelian irony: as we try to express our uniqueness or individuality through fashion, we often turn to buying mass produced, standardized goods.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. Inhabitants of small towns are bound together by emotional bounds.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. City dwellers that hate but are forced to live in the city develop a blasé attitude.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. The metropolitan personality experiences “quality” and differences as meaningless.

*a. True

  1. False

 

Type: E

  1. Explain Simmel’s quote “I know I shall die without intellectual heirs, and that is how it should be” in the context of Simmel’s body of work and the discipline of sociology as a whole.

*a. An overview of Simmel’s central sociological Ideas: (1) Simmel’s image of society (2) his view of sociology as a discipline (3) the plight of the individual in modern society

 

Type: E

  1. Discuss Simmel’s concept of duality and how it affects the nature of individuality.

*a. His emphasis on the duality existing between society and the individual led him to define sociology as the study of social interaction or, as he often called it, “sociation.” But it was not interaction per se that interested Simmel. Rather, he sought to analyze the forms in which interaction takes place. For instance, understanding the specific content of interactions that take place between an employer and employee—what they talk about and why—is not of central concern to sociologists.

Nowhere is the duality between individual identity and the “web of association” expressed more vividly than in Simmel’s discussion of the nature of modern society. For Simmel, modern, urban societies allow individuals to cultivate their unique talents and interests, but at the same time also lead to a “tragic” leveling of the human spirit.

 

Type: E

  1. Explain the difference between content and form in regards to interaction. Provide a concrete contemporary example to illustrate your understanding.

*a. For him, the essence of society lies in the interactions that take place between individuals and groups. Thus, according to Simmel, society and the individuals that compose it constitute an interdependent duality. In other words, the existence of one presupposes the existence of the other.

 

Type: E

  1. Define and explain with a real world example Simmel’s concept of “web of association.”

*a. Varies.

 

Type: E

  1. Compare and contrast Simmel and Marx’s conceptions of value.

*a. Simmel found in sacrifice— the giving up of one’s money, time, services, possessions—“the condition of all value.” Hence, there can be no universal, objective standard by which value can be established.

Value, then, is always subjective and relative. It is determined by the interaction at hand in which actors weigh their desire for the goods in question against the amount of sacrifice required to attain them.

Moreover, without having to endure obstacles or some form of self denial, not even the most intensely felt desire for an object will make it valuable. Value is created out of the “distance” that separates desire from its satisfaction and the willingness to sacrifice something in order to overcome that distance.

 

 

Type: E

  1. Define the term “sociability” and explain how it connects within social life.

*a. Simmel called this form of interaction “sociability,” or the “play-form of association.” Sociable conversations have no significance or ulterior motive outside the encounter itself.  As soon as the truthfulness of the conversation’s content or the striving for personal rewards or goals is made the focus, the encounter loses its playfulness. Sociability establishes an “artificial” world, a world without friction or inequalities.

 

Type: E

  1. Explain the following quote from Simmel’s The Stranger: “The stranger is near and far at the same time, as in any relationship based on merely universal human similarities.”

*a. No unique or specific qualities are shared with him that could in turn form the basis of a personal relationship. As a result, the stranger is seen not as an individual, but, rather, as a “type” of person whose particular characteristics make him fundamentally different from the group. This unique position of the stranger relative to the group allows him to provide services that are otherwise unattainable or “unfit” for the in-group to perform. In addition to these occupational consequences, the unique, unattached relation of the stranger to the larger group allows the stranger to adopt an objective attitude toward internal conflicts. Nonpartisanship grants the stranger a position of objectivity in efforts to resolve disputes.

 

Type: E

  1. Summarize Simmel’s main points concerning his analysis of fashion.

*a. Varies.

 

Type: E

  1. Compare and contrast Simmel’s The Metropolis and Mental Life with Durkheim’s view of the division of labor.

*a. Varies. Describes Simmel’s work, Durkheims work and their comparison and contrasting points.

 

Type: E

  1. Define Simmel’s blasé attitude and provide concrete examples of it. If your school is not in a metropolitan area, discuss whether your community exhibits this attitude.

*a. As a result, the metropolitan person adopts a blasé attitude, a psychological device that protects the individual from becoming overwhelmed by the intensity of city life. This adaptive outlook is essentially a form of “shutting down,” an emotional “graying” of reactions. The blasé attitude, while an adaptive outlook, is coupled with a money economy that further hinders the development of an emotionally meaningful life. The emphasis on exactness and calculability required by the urban, capitalist economy finds its expression in the life of the individual to the extent that he likewise becomes indifferent to the qualitative distinctions in his surroundings and in his relationships. The more money mediates our relationships and serves as the medium for self-expression, the more life itself takes on a quantitative quality.

 

Type: E

  1. Simmel wrote essays on such topics as fashion, conflict, and flirtation. Use concrete examples from Simmel’s work and your own examples to explain their relationship and application to today’s world.

*a. Simmel’s intellectual interests spanned three disciplines: philosophy, history, and sociology (Levine 1971: xxi). Second, Simmel published works on aesthetics, ethics, religion, the philosophy of history, the philosophies of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, and the metaphysics of individuality. Third, Simmel, unlike, say, Marx or Mead, did not set out to construct a coherent theoretical scheme, nor did he explicitly aim to develop a systematic critique of or to build on a specific theoretical paradigm. As a result, his work perhaps is best seen as a “collection of insights”

 

Type: E

  1. What is the common denominator or central theme in Simmel’s work? What theoretical issue/s does this theme raise? Provide examples.

*a. An overview of Simmel’s central sociological Ideas: (1) Simmel’s image of society (2) his view of sociology as a discipline (3) the plight of the individual in modern society. For him, the essence of society lies in the interactions that take place between individuals and groups. Thus, according to Simmel, society and the individuals that compose it constitute an interdependent duality. In other words, the existence of one presupposes the existence of the other.

 

Type: E

  1. What role does interaction play in establishing the value of objects or goods? What roles do the quality of objects and the scarcity of objects play in establishing value?

*a. For him, the essence of society lies in the interactions that take place between individuals and groups. Thus, according to Simmel, society and the individuals that compose it constitute an interdependent duality. In other words, the existence of one presupposes the existence of the other. Simmel found in sacrifice— the giving up of one’s money, time, services, possessions—“the condition of all value” (ibid.:49). Hence, there can be no universal, objective standard by which value can be established.

Value, then, is always subjective and relative. It is determined by the interaction at hand in which actors weigh their desire for the goods in question against the amount of sacrifice required to attain them.

 

Type: E

  1. Explain the concept of flirtation within Simmel’s larger framework of duality. Also, provide other forms of sociability and explain how they function as a play-form of association.

*a. We do not always engage in interactions for strategic or objective purposes. Sometimes we find ourselves interacting with others simply for the sake of the connection itself. Simmel called this form of interaction “sociability,” or the “play-form of association.” Sociable conversations have no significance or ulterior motive outside the encounter itself. As soon as the truthfulness of the conversation’s content or the striving for personal rewards or goals is made the focus, the encounter loses its playfulness. Sociability establishes an “artificial” world, a world without friction or inequalities. A particular kind of sociability that epitomizes the duality of social life discussed previously is flirtation or coquetry. Flirtation is a type of erotic playfulness in which an actor continuously alters between consent and denial. Should a final decision be revealed, resolving the tension between consent and denial, the “play” is over. Other forms of conversation a student might use as an example: anecdotes, idle chatter, mild humor or witticisms.

 

Type: E

  1. Explain the meaning of the following passage from Simmel’s, The Stranger:

The stranger is near and far at the same time, as in any relationship based on merely universal human similarities. Between these two factors of nearness and distance, however, a peculiar tension arises, since the consciousness of having only the absolutely general in common has exactly the effect of putting a special emphasis on that which is not common. For a stranger to the country, the city, the race, and so on, what is stressed is again nothing individual, but alien origin, a quality which he has, or could have, in common with many other strangers. For this reason strangers are not really perceived as individuals, but as strangers of a certain type. Their remoteness is no less general than their nearness.

*a. Varies. The remoteness and freedom from prejudiced understanding that objectivity entails can also make the stranger a valued confidant. The stranger has elements of nearness and remoteness—he is attached, but not completely—while the social outcast is only remote. However, despite the services that strangers are able to provide to a community, nonetheless we should be careful not to romanticize the position of this social type. Strangers often are exceptionally vulnerable to discrimination, if not violence.

 

Type: E

  1. According to Simmel, what effects does the metropolis have on the psychology and intellect of individuals? How do these effects, in turn, effect expression of individuality? What role does money play in these processes?

*a. The intensity of stimuli created by the urban environment and its consequences for the psychology of the city dweller. Unlike the slower tempo and rhythms of small town life and the emotional bonds that tie its inhabitants together, the metropolitan person is bombarded with sensory impressions that lead him to adopt, out of necessity, an intellectualized approach to life. In order to protect oneself against this onslaught of stimuli and “disruptions,” the individual must avoid developing an emotional investment in the happenings and encounters that make up his daily life. As a result, the metropolitan person adopts a blasé attitude, a psychological device that protects the individual from becoming overwhelmed by the intensity of city life. This adaptive outlook is essentially a form of “shutting down,” an emotional “graying” of reactions.

 

 

07TB_W.E.B. Du Bois

 

  1. Du Bois was primarily concerned with the nature and intersection of race and class, however during the last twenty-three years of his long life, he wrote provocatively on
  2. status and power
  3. race and education

*c. colonialism and imperialism

  1. education and economy

 

  1. Du Bois was primarily concerned with the nature and intersection of
  2. status and power

*b. race and class

  1. race and education
  2. status and structure

 

  1. Du Bois conducted primarily which types of research?
  2. participant observation, empirical experiments, political essays
  3. empirical studies, early telephone interviews, political essays

*c. empirical studies, interpretative essays, political essays

  1. interpretative essays, ethnographies, and surveys

 

  1. Du Bois believed the responsibility of the Talented Tenth was what?

*a. Win freedom and justice for all African Americans.

  1. Inhabit key governmental positions.
  2. Create and lead powerful capitalist industries.
  3. Lead scholarship in Pan-African studies.

 

  1. In The Philadelphia Negro Du Bois’s typology recognizes the power of nonrational factors when it depicts an upper-class
  2. thin blue line
  3. color ceiling

*c. colortocracy

  1. race veil

 

  1. The basic theoretical orientation of Du Bois as established by the authors is

*a. Nonrational, collective

  1. Nonrational, individual
  2. Rational, collective
  3. Rational, individual

 

  1. Which of the following methods did Du Bois not employ when conducting his research for The Philadelphia Negro?
  2. statistical data
  3. ethnographic research
  4. historical information

*d. survey analysis

 

  1. Du Bois states which of the following as the reason for why he was commissioned to perform his study in the Seventh Ward?
  2. Philadelphia wanted to support sociological research
  3. He did so to finish his graduate degree

*c. White Philadelphians already believed the area corrupt and “cancerous”

  1. His was the first study for Philadelphia’s social services department

 

  1. The authors state Du Bois’s work The Philadelphia Negro can best be described as which of the following?
  2. theoretically individualistic

*b. theoretically multidimensional

  1. theoretically collectivistic
  2. theoretically rational

 

  1. In The Philadelphia Negro, Du Bois states which of the following as the “vastest of the Negro problems”?
  2. pauperism
  3. criminality

*c. the color line

  1. alcoholism

 

  1. Du Bois concludes with which of the following in The Philadelphia Negro regarding the “Negro problems”, except?
  2. these problems are a function of historical conditions
  3. individuals need to change both their attitudes and behaviors
  4. these problems are a function of structural conditions

*d. political interests hands in their condition

 

  1. The Souls of Black Folk exposed a political and intellectual schism between radical political activists such as Du Bois and moderates like
  2. Ida B. Wells-Barnett

*b. Booker T. Washington

  1. The Talented Tenth
  2. Nina Gomer

 

  1. The Souls of Black Folk differs from The Philadelphia Negro because
  2. it relies solely on empirical data.

*b. it introduced a new “soulful” voice from Du Bois.

  1. it approaches race on a rational level.
  2. it introduces Du Bois’s typology.

 

  1. Du Bois defines “double-consciousness” as:
  2. The relation of the darker to the lighter races of men.

*b. The feeling of two-ness and the sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of   others.

  1. Feelings of racism and inequality.
  2. The essence and power of black spirituality.

 

  1. Du Bois defines the “color line” as:

*a. The relation of the darker to the lighter races of men.

  1. The feeling of two-ness and the sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others.
  2. Feelings of racism and inequality.
  3. The essence and power of black spirituality.

 

  1. For Du Bois, when did race become central to world history?

*a. When the color line began to pay via colonization

  1. the birth of capitalism
  2. division of labor in ancient Egypt
  3. beginning of Chinese civilization

 

  1. According to Du Bois the most pressing problem facing American society is
  2. double consciousness

*b. the color line

  1. the veil
  2. Marxism

 

  1. Du Bois defines this institution as the “social center of Negro life in the United States” and felt it could and should do more for its people.
  2. NAACP

*b. the Black church

  1. community neighborhoods
  2. the family structure

 

  1. When Du Bois asks “why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house?” he is reflecting on the ________ aspects of race and racism.
  2. structural
  3. objective

*c. subjective

  1. rational

 

  1. The concept of double-consciousness parallel’s which theorist’s notion?
  2. Marx’s fetters
  3. Durkheim’s profane
  4. Weber’s bureaucracy

*d. Simmel’s stranger

 

  1. In The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois “stepped within the _______, raising it that you may view faintly its deeper recesses…”
  2. double consciousness
  3. the color line

*c. the veil

  1. division of labor

 

  1. The Souls of White Folk differs from The Souls of Black Folk in that its tone can be considered more
  2. sympathetic

*b. militant

  1. empirical
  2. poetic

 

  1. In The Souls of White Folk, Du Bois argues that racism
  2. is unconnected to European colonialism
  3. is receding as whites’ souls become more tolerant
  4. in America is less oppressive than in other nations

*d. America is oppressive in structure and practice

 

  1. Du Bois argues in The Souls of White Folk that while African Americans possess a double-consciousness, whites have
  2. triple consciousness
  3. false consciousness

*c. no racial consciousness

  1. extra-consciousness

 

  1. Which of Du Bois’s work reverses the gaze of racial domination?
  2. The Souls of Black Folk

*b. The Souls of White Folk

  1. The Philadelphia Negro
  2. Phylon

 

  1. The Talented Tenth was the intellectual group Du Bois joined when he traveled through Europe.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. Du Bois’s work is exemplary in that it illuminates the intertwined structural and subjective causes and consequences of class, race, and racism.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. Du Bois’s work The Philadelphia Negro recognized both rational and nonrational factors.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. Du Bois used a multidimensional approach to race and class.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. The Philadelphia Negro is the first major sociological study of an African American community ever published in the United States.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. Du Bois largely ignored demographic data when performing research in the Seventh Ward for his work The Philadelphia Negro.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. One of the strengths of Du Bois’s study is that he completed 5,000 surveys and interviews with residents of the Seventh Ward.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. Du Bois systematically sets out the specific social consequences of prejudice and discrimination within The Philadelphia Negro.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. The conclusion of The Philadelphia Negro squarely places the blame on the structure of white society for all the problems of the residents of the Seventh Ward.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. The Souls of Black Folk solidified agreement in positions between Du Bois and Booker T. Washington.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. Du Bois recognized that race does not work or exist solely at the rational level.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. Du Bois was intensely critical of the Black church and thought it could/should do more for its people.

*a. True

  1. False

 

  1. The color line refers to the lines of poverty Du Bois studied in The Philadelphia Negro.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. The veil represents the most pressing problem for the U.S. according to Du Bois.
  2. True

*b. False

 

  1. The Soul of White Folks proved Whites experience a double consciousness.
  2. True

*b. False

 

Type: E

  1. Define Du Bois’s concept of the Talented Tenth. Explain why you agree or disagree with this concept.

*a. Discusses the belief that Du Bois had about the percentage of African-Americans that can pull the race out of the position the group as a whole is in within the American system.

 

Type: E

  1. Discuss how well you feel Du Bois’s ideas have translated into contemporary times. Do you feel he could still write his works today and they would still be relevant? If so, how?

*a. Varies. Applies various topics from Du Bois’ work to contemporary issues around race discourse.

 

Type: E

  1. Discuss the importance of Du Bois’s term “colortocracy” as it pertains to sociological study.

*a. Varies. Discusses the importance of “colortocracy” within sociological inquiry.

 

Type: E

  1. Explain how Du Bois’s notion of a color line can be found in different quadrants of American life, today. Apply his analytical framework to investigate modern American race discourse.

*a. Varies. Provides useful examples from modern American race discourse and applies Du Bois arguments.

 

Type: E

  1. Explain Du Bois’s concept of the veil. Show how it relates to his other concepts double-consciousness and the color line.

*a. Varies.

 

Type: E

  1. Compare and contrast Du Bois’s double consciousness to Simmel’s notion of the stranger.

*a. Varies.

 

Type: E

  1. Explain what Du Bois is discussing when he states “…this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.”

*a. Varies.

 

Type: E

  1. Summarize Du Bois’s main points concerning his stance on Booker T. Washington.

*a. Varies.

 

Essay Questions:

 

Type: E

  1. Compare and contrast Du Bois’s theory of the oppression of black Americans with Gilman’s theory of the oppression of women. What are some of the similarities (if any) and differences (if any) between these two perspectives?

*a. Varies. Du Bois’s work is exemplary in that it illuminates the intertwined structural and subjective causes and consequences of class, race, and racism. She drew from a variety of theoretical wells including Marxism, symbolic interactionism, and social Darwinism. Her multidimensional theory of gender inequality combines (1) a Marxist emphasis on the economic and political basis for gender inequality, (2) a symbolic interactionist emphasis on how these gender differences are reinforced and institutionalized through the process of socialization, and (3) a sociobiological emphasis on the evolutionary advantages or roots of gender differences.

 

Type: E

  1. Compare and contrast the goals and tone of The Souls of Black Folk with The Souls of White Folk. Be sure to place both pieces within their respective historical contexts.

*a. First, historically, The Souls of Black Folk is important because it explicitly exposed an important intellectual and political schism in the black community between the more moderate Booker T. Washington; and the more radical Du Bois. Second, from a social science standpoint, The Souls of Black Folk is significant because Du Bois writes in a new “voice.” Disgusted by the failure of sound empirical research to lead to desperately needed social change for the African American community and having done the empirical work himself, Du Bois became convinced that empirical data alone would never convince white Americans of the true workings of racial discrimination and prejudice.

 

Type: E

  1. Summarize the main points from Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk. Also include the three reasons as outlined by the authors as to why this particular piece is notable.

*a. First, historically, The Souls of Black Folk is important because it explicitly exposed an important intellectual and political schism in the black community between the more moderate Booker T. Washington; and the more radical Du Bois. Second, from a social science standpoint, The Souls of Black Folk is significant because Du Bois writes in a new “voice.” Disgusted by the failure of sound empirical research to lead to desperately needed social change for the African American community and having done the empirical work himself, Du Bois became convinced that empirical data alone would never convince white Americans of the true workings of racial discrimination and prejudice. Third, The Souls of Black Folk is important theoretically because it contains three interrelated concepts for which Du Bois is now famous: the color line, double consciousness, and the veil.

 

Type: E

  1. Discuss Du Bois’s concepts of the color line, the veil, and double consciousness using concrete examples. What theoretical issue/s do these concepts raise?

*a. “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line—the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea” Africa’s poverty is inexorably linked to colonialism and imperial domination; the wealth of the colonial empires of England, France, Germany, and the United States “comes directly from the darker races of the world”

Du Bois also addresses race as a symbolic and experiential reality. This emphasis on the nonrational workings of the color line is highlighted in his question, “How does it feel to be a problem?”

Du Bois’s concepts of the veil and double consciousness: The Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second sight in this American world—a world which yields him no self-consciousness…

 

Type: E

  1. Discuss Du Bois’s use of the term “clairvoyance” in The Souls of White Folk. Be sure to also define and discuss the consciousness of whites as stated by Du Bois. Further, show how the concepts of democracy and religion play into this discussion.

*a. Du Bois suggests that, unbeknownst to whites, African Americans can see what it means to be white. Blacks’ “clairvoyance” comes from their servile position. As servants in one form or another, blacks are exposed to the intimate details of whites’ lives, hence they see whites as they really are. Most important, what blacks see is that whites typically practice the very opposite of what they preach. Du Bois condemns whites not only for their hypocrisy, but also for their delusion. Thus, Du Bois declares white Christianity “a miserable failure” because the number of whites who actually practice “the democracy and unselfishness of Jesus Christ” is so small as to be farcical.