Editorial Board: Editor: George H. Conklin, North Carolina Central University Board: Bob Davis, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Richard Dixon, UNC-Wilmington Ken Land, Duke University Miles Simpson, North Carolina Central University Ron Wimberley, N.C. State University Robert Wortham, North Carolina Central University
Editorial Assistants Rob Tolliver, Duke University Shannon O'Connor, North Carolina Central University John W.M. Russell, Technical Consultant
Volume 6, Number 1
W.E.B. Du Bois' Urban Sociology:
Robert A. Wortham
North Carolina Central University
In There Goes the Neighborhood (2006), William Julius Wilson and Richard Taub provide an in depth look at racial, ethnic and class conflict in four transitional Chicago neighborhoods. These conflicts impact neighborhood social organization and the resulting quality of life. Once the transitional "tipping point" is reached, residents who have become dissatisfied may choose to exit the neighborhood. On the other hand, residents who perceive exiting as being too costly and/or have been able to maintain a sense of loyalty to the neighborhood remain and exercise what Hirschman calls "voice." Persons exercising voice are willing to address the changes being experienced and are willing to build a new unity within the growing neighborhood diversity. Thus, strong neighborhood social organization is a function of the development of inter-group harmony. Businesses, block groups, civil groups, churches and political groups become "ours" rather than "theirs."
The research design for the Wilson-Taub study blends quantitative and qualitative approaches and is an example of the effective use of methodological triangulation. Census data are utilized to identify broad general trends in such factors as population composition, family structure, family income, poverty, educational attainment, labor force participation and occupation. However, an ethnographic approach is invoked to provide a more accurate portrayal of the "pulse" and "character" of each community. The ethnographers utilized in the two and a half year study also became participant observers. Community, block-club and religious meetings were attended in order to obtain a more intimate "feel" for the sense of community strength and disorganization.
Commenting on the decision to integrate quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis, Wilson and Taub (2006: 191-192) maintain that their study represents " the first time, to our knowledge, that social scientists have systematically used ethnographic methods to conduct a comparative community study that is, to study several neighborhoods at the same time, collecting comparable data for analysis." Perhaps the claim will stand if the emphasis stays on the simultaneous ethnographic study of several urban neighborhoods. However, the approach adopted by Wilson and Taub is grounded in W.E.B. Du Bois' seminal sociological study of urban life, The Philadelphia Negro (, 1996).
In The Philadelphia Negro, Du Bois (, 1996) presents his early "trademark" approach to sociological research design, methodological triangulation. Census data were utilized to document primary trends in racial inequality throughout Philadelphia, and, where appropriate, comparative census statistics were cited. A more in depth look at the quality of African American life in an urban setting was obtained from a survey of Philadelphia's Seventh Ward, and an ethnographic approach was adopted to provide more nuanced data with respect to housing conditions, social class differences, poverty, crime and racial prejudice and discrimination within the Seventh Ward and throughout Philadelphia. While Du Bois did not conduct extensive analyses of other Philadelphia Wards, his comments on African American quality of life interspersed throughout the study, indicate that he had an awareness of living conditions in other parts of the city.
Du Bois and the American Sociological Tradition
Du Bois' contributions to the development of the scientific study of sociology in the United States were substantial (Wright, 2006; 2002; Wortham, 2005a, 2005b; Zuckerman, 2004). He first developed an interest in the social sciences while completing his undergraduate and graduate studies at Harvard. This interest was enhanced during his two years of doctoral study in Berlin (Du Bois, , 2007; , 2007). While at the University of Berlin, Du Bois encountered the work of Schmoller, Wagner and Weber and an interdisciplinary area of study known as Staatswissenschaften. This program of study sought to integrate such fields as economics, history, political science, public administration, sociology and statistics (Fischer, 1968). Schmoller introduced Du Bois to the inductive method and argued that social policy must first be rooted in the documentation of scientific, empirical facts. Under Wagner's tutelage, Du Bois began to study the various ways industrialization was altering the structure of society (Boston, 1991; Broderick, 1958a; 1958b).
The impact of the Berlin experience was first seen in some of Du Bois' writings on Southern agriculture while he was still a student at Berlin and in the integrative historical, political and economic focus soon given to his Harvard dissertation, The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America 1638 1870 ( 2007), which was subsequently published. Upon graduation from Harvard in 1894, Du Bois took a position in classics at Wilberforce University. He offered to teach a course in sociology without remuneration, but was not granted permission (Du Bois,  2007).
In 1896 the University of Pennsylvania presented Du Bois with an opportunity to conduct a sociological study of African American life in Philadelphia's Seventh Ward. Du Bois' Berlin studies had a major impact on his approach to this study. As he neared completion of this study in 1897, Du Bois accepted a position as professor of economics and history at Atlanta University. There, he also assumed the leadership of the Atlanta University Conferences, the work of the Atlanta Sociological Laboratory and helped develop an undergraduate and graduate sociology curriculum. Du Bois' early sociological period thus encompasses the time period from the beginning of work on African American quality of life in Philadelphia in 1896 until the end of his initial appointment at Atlanta University in 1910. He would continue to co-edit the annual Atlanta University Conference publications through 1914.
Du Bois provided one of his most concise summaries of his sociological approach in the 1898 (1980) article, "The Study of the Negro Problems," published one year before The Philadelphia Negro (, 1996). Here sociological investigation is presented as a quest for "the truth" which was to be grounded in the principles of empirical observation, systematic inquiry and comparative study. The outcome of such an endeavor would be the identification and documentation of a body of scientific knowledge which could then be used to provide a basis for social reform.
Du Bois (, 1980) then framed the "Negro problems" within a social problems perspective. Social problems exist when a group is unable to attain its ideals. Furthermore, the actions that are available to a social group cannot be assessed independent of the group's social environment. Thus, social status is a function of social structure and the historical development of those structures, such as the legacy of slavery. The foundation of "the Negro problems," is ignorance. For Du Bois prejudice and discrimination were essentially outcomes of ignorance, which could be replaced with a systematic body of scientific knowledge.
Consequently, the scientific study of "the Negro problems" should be based on census data and data acquired from small area social studies (Du Bois, , 1980; , 1980). This way broad general trends and particular issues could be investigated as a way of providing a more representative picture of specific social problems and minimizing bias. These social studies could be replicated over time to provide a baseline to gauge change. Finally, African Americans need to be viewed as a distinct social group operating within distinct social environments. The scientific study of "the Negro problems" can be best accomplished if sociological inquiry is coupled with historical investigation, statistical analysis and anthropological inquiry (Du Bois, , 1980). Du Bois' indebtedness to Schmoller, Wagner and Weber and the Staatswissenschaften paradigm is evident, and this plan for study, grounded in the use of methodological triangulation, is implemented in The Philadelphia Negro (, 1996).
The Philadelphia Negro and Methodological Triangulation
Du Bois received an offer from C.C. Harrison, the Provost at the University of Pennsylvania, on June 6, 1896 to conduct a comprehensive study of Philadelphia's African American community largely residing in the Seventh Ward. Du Bois would receive a one year appointment as an "assistant" in sociology and would receive $900 remuneration (Aptheker, 1997). His sole purpose was to conduct a research study. He would live in the Seventh Ward, but he would not teach any classes. He appeared to have had one encounter with students and was not listed in the college catalogue. Samuel Lindsay, a member of the university's sociology department, registered a complaint concerning Du Bois' omission from the catalogue. Yet the only mention of Du Bois' involvement with the university would subsequently be found in Lindsay's "Sociological Field Work" course description. There was also no mention of Du Bois' affiliation with the university in an early history of the sociology department at Penn written by Brossard in 1930 (Katz and Sugrue, 1998).
The Philadelphia Negro (, 1996) is one of the earliest empirically based sociological studies of urban life in the United States. It is a classic study of urban ecology and urban ethnography (Anderson, 1996). Myrdal (1944) identified it as the definitive study in race relations at the time. Du Bois' "Letter of credentials" indicated that he was to conduct a study of the social and living conditions of "Colored people" living in the Seventh Ward. He would be investigating such topics as lifestyle, occupational opportunities and children's educational involvement. The goal was to provide "accurate statistics" that would provide a basis for reform (Aptheker, 1997).
Du Bois (, 1996: 1-9, 62-63) begins this inductive study with a methodological primer and the framing of "the Negro problems" as social problems. He then proceeds with a discussion of various social problems impacting Philadelphia's African American population, particularly those residing in the Seventh Ward. Census data are employed to identify broad general trends with respect to such issues as marital status, population distribution and literacy; whereas, a survey of the Seventh Ward was undertaken to provide more precise information about social class and housing. Ethnographic data were collected to fill in the gaps on such topics as crime, prejudice and discrimination, and historical analysis was employed to provide a general context for understanding the development of particular issues such as the growth of Philadelphia's African American community and the development of integrative and support structures like the Black Church. In addition to being influenced by the Staatswissenschaften paradigm, Du Bois here was also following a methodological approach that had earlier characterized Booth's (1892-1897) study of everyday life in London, Addams' (1895) Hull House studies and various surveys of low-income populations in major U.S. cities conducted by the College Settlement Association (Bobo, 2007; Lewis, 1994; Broderick, 1958a).
The survey of the Seventh Ward was conducted over a fifteen month period (8/1/1896 12/31/1897), and approximately 9,700 persons and 2, 250 households were included in this door-to-door survey. Five schedules focusing on the family, individuals, home, street and organizations were utilized (Du Bois, , 1996: 2-3, 62-63). These schedules may have been patterned after the schedules utilized by Booth in his London studies, and Du Bois appears to have been aware of Booth's "double method" whereby persons were subdivided by district (place of residence) and occupation (Lewis, 1994).
Interviews often involved a housewife, landlord or neighbor and lasted from ten minutes to an hour. Du Bois warns the reader to be careful not to overgeneralize the findings from the Seventh Ward and indicates sources of potential bias such as deceptive answers, omissions and judgment error. Du Bois hoped to minimize researcher bias by personally conducting all the interviews although this may have introduced biases based on his personal judgment (see Babbie, 2005). The ultimate goal of the study was "an earnest desire for the truth despite its possible unpleasantness (Du Bois, , 1996: 3)." Du Bois believed that the study could provide a scientific basis for future social reform.
The study addressed specific social problems faced by the African American community in Philadelphia, in general, and the Seventh Ward, in particular. These issues included population size and composition, migration, marital status, education, occupational status, health, family, organizational life, crime, poverty, alcoholism, housing, social class, race relations and the political process. As Du Bois discussed these issues, he traced the historical roots of the problem and made racial comparisons at the city-level and in some instances provided comparative city, national and international data. He would then turn to the particular conditions facing the residents of the Seventh Ward and would often identify major social factors believed to be impacting the situation.
A Social Study of African American Urban Life
A summary of some of the study's basic findings is included in . Data from the 1896-1897 survey are compared in many instances with race-specific findings for Philadelphia that Du Bois obtained from the 1890 census. In several instances where Du Bois provided incomplete city-level census data, the missing data were supplied by the author. The summary findings are groups under the following headings: demographic conditions, family structure and socioeconomic status.
**The 1890 data are state level. African American figures include persons classified as Chinese, Japanese or Indians.
***The death rate excludes still-births. All data are for the 1884 1890 period.
#Based on the percentage of families (N = 2,441) that expressed a religious identity.
##Based on the 1890 total Black Church membership figure divided by the total African American population.
###Based on the total church membership data for predominately white denominations divided by the total white population.
+For the Philadelphia African American and white population, this category includes widowed and divorced.
++Seventh Ward percentages are based on data for 2,355 families.
+++Seventh Ward percentages are based on data for 2,276 families.
^Seventh Ward percentages are based on data for 2,235 families.
^^Seventh Ward percentages are based on data for 2,441 families.
Source: Du Bois, The Philadelphia Negro (, 1996); U.S. Census Office, Report on Statistics of Churches in the United States at the Eleventh Census, 1890, Volume 16 (1894); U.S. Census Office, Report on Population of the United States at the Eleventh Census: 1890, Part 1, Volume 1 Population (1895); U.S. Census Office, Report on Population of the United States at the Eleventh Census: 1890, Part 2, Volume 2 Population (1897).
A. Demographic Conditions
While women outnumbered men throughout Philadelphia, a sizable race specific difference in the sex ratio existed at the city level. The sex ratio was even lower for residents of the Seventh Ward. Du Bois (, 1996: 54-55) attributed this imbalance to the lack of factory employment opportunities for African American men and greater opportunities for women in domestic service.
The proportion of the African American population under age 20 in Philadelphia and the Seventh Ward was lower than that for whites while the proportion of persons aged 20 to 30 was higher for African Americans. The age specific birthplace data indicate that much of this difference can be attributed to the migration of African Americans from the South. Many of these migrants lacked industrial training, and Du Bois (, 1996: 55-56, 75, 275, 285-286) maintained that this structural situation could impact unemployment, poverty and crime. Thus, Du Bois appeared to be formulating a structural explanation for crime by linking crime with the social disorganization. Just two years earlier, Durkheim (, 1966) was linking urban crime with weak social and moral integration!
Turning to birthplace one observes that about one-third of the Seventh Ward's African American population were native Philadelphians; however, over half the residents were Southern immigrants. In fact the Ward's percentage of Southern immigrants was significantly higher than that for Philadelphia's African American community. Du Bois (, 1996: 76, 78, 81,151,154) describes a migration stream that involved young working age male adults coming from the rural areas of the South to small Southern towns and then lager Southern cities like Norfolk and Richmond. Eventually the migration chain extended to Washington, DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia. However, once in Philadelphia these "county" immigrants tended to settle in Philadelphia's slums, where economic opportunities were limited. The Seventh Ward was included in a list of Philadelphia's Wards with the worst slums.
Du Bois goes
on to describe one of the more affluent sections of the Seventh Ward in
the following manner:
Passing up Lombard, beyond Eighth, the atmosphere suddenly changes, . Here some of the best Negro families in the ward live. Some are wealthy in a small way, nearly all are Philadelphia born, and they represent an early wave of emigration from the old slum section (Du Bois, , 1996: 60).
The race specific mortality differential for Philadelphia (7.98 years) and the Seventh Ward (6.24 years) is noticeable. In the discussion of mortality, Du Bois (1899], 1996: 153-156) provided race specific data for each of Philadelphia's Wards and then grouped the Wards by social class. He noted that mortality fell for each group as social class increased and argued that mortality was primarily a function of living conditions.
Subjecting the data Du Bois provided to correlation (Table 2) and regression (Table 3) analysis, one discovers that statistically significant bivariate correlations exist between social class and both the African American crude death rate (r = -0.50; p = .01) and the white crude death rate (r = -0.41; p = .05). African American and white mortality declines as social class increases. Also, no statistically significant correlation exits between the African American crude death rate and a Ward's African American population composition. These findings are supported further in the regression analysis (Table 3). Social class is identified as a statistically significant factor ( t = -3.47; p = 0.002); whereas, the Ward's African American population composition is not. Living conditions matter as Du Bois expected (1).
Source: Du Bois, The Philadelphia Negro (, 1996).
Moving to social support networks, Du Bois (, 1996: 201-207) noted the key role that the Black Church played in integrating the African American community. The Black Church was seen as enhancing educational opportunities, providing benevolent aid when needed, providing a venue for social and cultural activities as well as providing encouragement and strengthening moral standards. Throughout The Philadelphia Negro, Du Bois (, 1996) maintained that "the Negro problems" were to be addressed through structural change and "social uplift." He perceived the Black Church as playing a major role in promoting social uplift. The data for the church membership rate for the Seventh Ward were supplied by Du Bois, and the race specific data for Philadelphia were obtained by the author from the 1890 census volume, Report on Statistics of Churches in the United States (1894). For Philadelphia the African American church membership rate is more than double that for whites. This further underscored the importance of the church in the African American community (Table 1). Within the Seventh Ward, seven out of ten residents held membership in one of the major Black Church denominations.
B. Family Structure
Turning to indicators of family structure (Table 1), one discovers that the proportion of males who were single, married or widowed/permanently separated among the three comparison groups were roughly comparable. The situation is different for females. Among African American females, those living in the Seventh Ward were more likely to be married. However, Du Bois (, 1996: 70-72) noted that limited economic resources impacted the quality of family life of young married couples and those widowed.
While the average family size for residents of the Seventh Ward was equal to that of the residents of Philadelphia, large families with seven or more members were much less prevalent in the Seventh Ward (Table 1). One person families were also more prevalent in the Seventh Ward. This could be another indicator of the larger proportion of widows. The difference between the average real family (3.2 persons) and the average census family (5.1 Persons), which included lodgers, indicated that within the Seventh Ward the average household included two unrelated lodgers. Du Bois (, 1996: 164-165) described the Seventh Ward as somewhat transitional including "causal sojourners," young married couples without children and grandparents keeping their grandchildren. Economic pressures also functioned to keep family size low. With respect to living space, African American families residing in the Seventh Ward were evenly divided among those living in one room, two to five room and six or more room residences.
C. Socioeconomic Status
The socioeconomic indicators reveal that the African American community within the Seventh Ward was not homogeneous. The illiteracy rate for African Americans residing in the Seventh Ward was lower than that among African Americans for the city as a whole, but the racial difference in illiteracy at the city level was pronounced (Table 1). While the percentage of African American men from the Seventh Ward working in the trade and transportation fields was at parity with the city rate for all racial and ethnic groups, a disproportionate number of African American men (61.5 % to 17.3%) were involved in domestic and personal service (Table 1). Du Bois (, 1996: 55) argued that this was largely due to the inability of these men to secure industry-related jobs. The occupational data show that African American men and women from the Seventh Ward were significantly underrepresented in the manufacturing and mechanical industries. Likewise, African American women in the Seventh Ward were more than twice as likely to be associated with domestic and personal service jobs (Du Bois, , 1996: 91,109).
Four class distinctions
(Grades) based on weekly wages and lifestyle were present within the Seventh
Ward (Du Bois, , 1996: 310-311). Grade 1 included persons
with sufficient income. The wife generally did not work outside the
home, the home was well-kept and the children were in school. Grade
2 included the working class. Persons in this class could rely on
steady employment. Their homes were modest, and their children attended
school. The working poor were included in Grade 3. Persons
in this class were not able to maintain a steady income stream, were not
thrifty and were not always able to afford life's necessities. Professional
criminals and prostitutes were included in the lowest class, Grade 4.
Available income could also impact a family's ability to find suitable housing or living space and being able to live in their home alone (Du Bois, , 1996: 290-292). One in five families paid under $5 a month for housing, and half the families paid under $10 a month (Table 1). Based on the weekly wage criteria for determining social class membership, families in Grades 2-4 were probably allocating 25% or more of their monthly income to rent payments. Du Bois (, 1996: 173-176) provided the yearly budget for seven families that were included in Grades 2-4. The average monthly amount spent on rent was $10.43. In terms of lodging, three in ten families lived alone in their home while the remaining families either had lodgers or sub-rent under other families. The difference between average family size and census family size is also reflected in these data.
A Black Economic Enclave
Geographic concentration and internal economic development often interact. As a result of prejudice and discrimination, minority groups can be concentrated geographically in certain neighborhoods. Within these neighborhood confines, community members will begin to offer a range of basic economic services to each other (internal economic development). As the economic base increases, business owners begin to offer their services to persons residing in areas outside the neighborhood, and the minority group's socioeconomic status begins to rise. Portes (1987) describes this process as the development of economic enclaves. Du Bois (, 1996: 115-125) identifies the beginning stages of a similar phenomenon in The Philadelphia Negro as he portrays the growth and development of Black businesses within the Seventh Ward and throughout Philadelphia.
The distribution of Black businesses throughout Philadelphia is presented in Table 4. Du Bois (, 1996: 122-125) was able to account for 267 Black businesses in Philadelphia in 1897. One hundred eighteen (44.2 %) were located in the Seventh Ward. The top five Black businesses in the Seventh Ward were: restaurants (N = 39), barber shops (N = 24), shoemakers (N = 13), grocery stores (N = 11) and cigar stores (N = 11). Collectively these five enterprises accounted for 83.1 % of all Black businesses in the Seventh Ward. The most common Black business services offered outside the Seventh Ward were restaurants and barber shops. Over half (55.8 %) of Philadelphia's Black businesses were located outside the Seventh Ward.
* Du Bois (, 1996: 123) indicated that the list of Black business establishments for all the other Philadelphia Wards was representative rather than exhaustive.
Source: Du Bois, The Philadelphia Negro (, 1996).
As noted earlier, Du Bois (, 1996: 154-156, 310-321) classified Philadelphia's Wards by social class. The lower class-slum class included the criminal and poor class. This group was followed by the working class. The middle class actually included the African American middle class and above. The fourth group was comprised of white residences. African Americans employed in domestic service resided in some of these residences included in the fourth group. The spatial distribution of Black businesses is presented in Map 1. Here it is observed that Black businesses were found in all of the Wards that were adjacent to the Seventh Ward. The lower class-slum Wards were adjacent to the Seventh Ward's southern and eastern borders. Two working class Wards are in close proximity to the Seventh Ward's southern and southwestern boundaries. A transitional working class - middle class Ward was adjacent to the Seventh Ward's west boundary, and a middle class Ward across the Schuylkill River bordered the Seventh Ward's northern boundary. Further east of the Seventh Ward, Black businesses were situated in middle class, middle class white transitional, and white residential Wards.
One-third of the Black businesses were located in the adjacent lower class-slum Wards (Table 4). Another 6 % of Black businesses were located in working class Wards, and approximately 12 % were situated in middle class Wards. Almost one in twenty Black businesses was located in Wards that were classified as white residential Wards. As one moves beyond the lower class-slum Wards, the proportion of the Ward's population that is African American declines. While the Black businesses may still have catered primarily to the African American residents in these Wards, business exchanges were not necessarily limited to African American patrons. Black business enterprises were beginning to spread beyond the Seventh Ward throughout Philadelphia at the time of Du Bois' study.
Prejudice and Discrimination in the City of Brotherly Love
In the concluding chapters of this massive social study of African American quality of life in Philadelphia and the Seventh Ward, Du Bois (, 1996: 322-355, 385-397) addressed the issue of racial prejudice and discrimination. He also made an appeal to Philadelphia's African American and white communities to work together in trying to resolve "the Negro problems." With respect to racial prejudice and discrimination, Du Bois cited numerous examples where Philadelphia's African Americans faced difficulty obtaining employment and keeping their jobs. African Americans encountered an occupational caste system and were generally relegated to the lower status positions. Discrimination encountered in public places like restaurants, stores and recreational facilities was noted. Children often experienced discrimination in the public schools. Social engagement among racial groups was dictated by "the color line."
In the final analysis, Du Bois (, 1996: 385-397) linked Philadelphia's "Negro problems" to the interaction among poverty, crime, prejudice and Philadelphia's unwillingness to acknowledge the degree of inequality present within the city and the Seventh Ward. Calling upon the African American and white communities to come together and address these issues, the African American community was encouraged to see that educational opportunities were provided for their children, to save money and to purchase homes. African American families, in conjunction with the Black Church, could work together to strengthen the community's moral fiber and sponsor acceptable social activities for young people. Whites, on the other hand, must be willing to address the persistence of race-based prejudice and discrimination. Du Bois concluded the study by reminding Philadelphians that social uplift and the eradication of prejudice and discrimination were not mutually exclusive events.
The Philadelphia Negro was reviewed in a number of publications following its initial 1899 publication. Between 1899 and 1900 reviews were published in such diverse venues as Nation, Outlook, AME Church Review, Sunday School Times, Charities Review, City and State, Yale Review, Journal of Political Economy and the American Historical Review. These reviews acknowledged the thoroughness of Du Bois' analysis, the impact that limited employment opportunities were having on African American quality of life and an appreciation for Du Bois' objective approach to discussions of racial prejudice. This being said, it is interesting to note that Du Bois' study was not reviewed in the American Journal of Sociology, a journal that was founded at the University of Chicago in 1895 (Katz and Sugrue, 1998).
The Philadelphia Negro has been republished at least five times since 1899. Thus, what are some of the lasting sociological contributions associated with this pioneering empirical study of urban life? In his classic 1938 study, "Urbanism as a Way of Life," Wirth identified size, density and heterogeneity as three fundamental identifying characteristics of urban society. While Du Bois did not directly address density issues in The Philadelphia Negro, he did investigate the size and the heterogeneous nature of Philadelphia's African American community. Distinct social classes within the Seventh Ward were specified, and Du Bois particularly addressed the circumstances of the "submerged tenth," a group comprised of the urban poor and criminal classes. This group appears to foreshadow Wilson's (1996; 1987) discussions of an urban "underclass" (Bobo, 2007).
Du Bois also identified and evaluated additional structural factors impacting African American quality of life in urban settings, like organizational support networks, family structure, living conditions, and racial discrimination. However, rather than taking a "system-blame" or "culture-blame" approach to the study of social problems, Du Bois focused on the interaction between structural inequality and "social uplift." These social forces were perceived as being complimentary rather than mutually exclusive. The Philadelphia Negro is a classic study in urban sociology and empirical sociology. Methodological triangulation is utilized to provide a comprehensive analysis of life in Philadelphia's Seventh Ward just before the turn of the nineteenth century. Census data, a survey of the Seventh Ward and ethnographic description were combined in this inductive study of a particular social group in a specific social environment. Keenly aware of the problems associated with researcher bias, Du Bois provided a small area social study that generated empirical facts about Philadelphia's "Negro problems." Since Du Bois believed that ignorance was the root cause of prejudice and discrimination, this systematic, scientific presentation of the facts could thus provide a basis for social reform.
Within this seminal study, the reader encounters early formulations of the theory of ethnic succession, the role of economic enclaves in minority communities, a functional analysis of the Black Church and an awareness of the inverse association between mortality and social class. The Philadelphia Negro also provided a case study for demonstrating how quantitative and qualitative data analysis can be employed as complimentary research approaches. In addition to being one of the key figures in the development of the American sociological tradition, Du Bois was also a pioneer in urban sociology. His sociological veil is gradually being lifted.
(1) The regression
of social class and the Ward's African American population composition
on Philadelphia's 1890 white crude death rate also showed that social class
was a statistically significant factor impacting the white crude death
rate (t = - 2.253; p = .033). Roughly 19 % of the variation in the
white crude death rate is explained by social class, but the model just
misses passing the test for statistical significance (F = 3.236; p = .055).
Anderson, Elijah. 1996. "Introduction to the 1996 Edition of The Philadelphia Negro." In The Philadelphia Negro, by W.E.B. Du Bois, ix-xxxvi. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Aptheker, Herbert. 1997. The Correspondence of W.E.B. Du Bois: Volume I. Selections, 1877-1934. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
Babbie, Earl. 2005. The Basics of Social Research, Third Edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Bobo, Lawrence. 2007. "Introduction."
In The Philadelphia Negro, by W.E.B. Du Bois,
Boston, Thomas D. 1991. "W.E.B. Du Bois and the Historical School of Economics." The American Economic Review 81: 303-306.
Broderick, Francis L. 1958a. "The Academic Training of W.E.B. DuBois." The Journal of Negro Education 27: 10-16.
______. 1958b. "German Influence on the Scholarship of W.E.B. DuBois." The Phylon Quarterly 19: 367-371.
Du Bois, W.E.B.  2007. The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America 1638-1870, introductions by Saidiya Hartman and Henry Lewis Gates, Jr.. New York: Oxford University Press.
-------  1980. "The Study of the Negro Problems." In On Sociology and the Black Community, edited and introduction by Dan Green and Edwin Driver, 70-84. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
------  1996. The Philadelphia Negro, introduction by Elijah Anderson. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
------ 1980. "The Twelfth Census and the Negro Problems." In On Sociology and the Black Community, edited and introduction by Dan Green and Edwin Driver, 65-69. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
------  2007. Dusk of Dawn: An Essay toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept, introductions by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. New York: Oxford University Press.
------  2007c. The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the last Decade of Its First Century, introductions by Werner Sollors and Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. New York: Oxford University Press.
Durkheim, Emile.  1966. Suicide. A Study in Sociology. New York: The Free Press.
Fisher, Wolfram. 1968. "Gustav Schmoller." In International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Volume 14, ed. by David L. Sills, 60-63. New York: The Macmillan Company & The Free Press.
Katz, Michael B. and Thomas J. Sugrue. 1998. "The Context of The Philadelphia Negro: The City, the Settlement House Movement, and the Rise of the Social Sciences." In W.E.B. DuBois, Race, and the City: The Philadelphia Negro and Its Legacy, pp 1-37. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Lewis, David Levering. 1994. W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919. New York: Owl Books. A John Macrae Book, Henry Holt and Company.
Myrdal, Gunnar. 1944 An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. New York: Harper & Row.
Park, Robert E., Ernest W. Burgess and Roderick McKenzie. 1925. The City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Portes, Alejandro. 1987. "The Social Origins of the Cuban Enclave Economy of Miami." Sociological Perspectives 30: 340-372.
United States. Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1894. Report on Statistics of Churches in the United States at the Eleventh Census, 1890. Volume 16. Henry Carroll, Special Agent. Washington: Government Printing Office.
------ 1895. Report on Population of the United States at the Eleventh Census: 1890, Part 1, Volume 1 Population. Washington: Government Printing Office.
------ 1897. Report on
Population of the United States at the Eleventh Census: 1890,
Wilson, William Julius. 1987. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
------1996. When Work Disappears. New York: Knopf.
Wilson, William Julius and Richard Taub. 2006. There Goes the Neighborhood: Racial, Ethnic, and Class Tensions in Four Chicago Neighborhoods and Their Meaning for America. New York: Knopf.
Wirth, Louis. 1938. "Urbanism as a Way of Life." American Journal of Sociology 44: 8-20.
Wortham, Robert. 2005a. "An Introduction to the Sociology of W.E.B. Du Bois." Sociation Today 3.1: www.ncsociology.org/sociationtoday.
------2005b. "The Early Sociological
Legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois." In Diverse Histories of American Sociology,
ed. by Anthony Blasi, 74-95. Leiden, The
Wright, Earl II. 2006. "W.E.B. Du Bois and the Atlanta University Studies on the Negro Revisited." Journal of African American Studies 9: 3-17.
------ 2002. "Why Black People Tend to Shout! An Earnest Attempt to Explain the Social Negation of the Atlanta Sociological Laboratory Despite Its Possible Unpleasantness." Sociological Spectrum 22: 335-361.
Zuckerman, Phil. 2004. The Social Theory of W.E.B. Du Bois. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
©2008 by the North Carolina Sociological Association