Du Bois Vs John Lennon Sociology Essay

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Q1. Research the sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois and discuss his contributions to society.

W. E. B. Du Bois, the author of The Souls of Black Folk, was one of the most notable African-American activists of the early 20th century. In this seminal work, Du Bois outlined what he called the double consciousness of African-Americans, “the sense of looking at one’s self through the eyes of others” (Du Bois 5). Black people were simultaneously excluded from mainstream American society yet also forced to understand it, given that they were rendered into a state of economic dependence on whites, thanks to the legacy of slavery Du Bois also made a claim for African-American culture to be the most American of all cultures, given that it was a unique hybridization of African and European ideas, religion, music, and life.

Du Bois, who received his doctorate from Harvard University and taught sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, also wrote in The Souls of Black Folk about the personal challenges he felt as an African-American man who felt neither wholly a part of American society nor Black society as a highly and at the time unusually educated Black man. Du Bois is associated with the philosophy of the need to elevate the “talented tenth” of African-American society to prominence, to uplift all Black peoples (Du Bois 51). Du Bois was one of the founders of the NAACP, an organization which still exists as an advocate of the rights of African-Americans and as a force against discrimination and prejudice (“NAACP History”).
As part of the NAACP, Du Bois was an activist for anti-lynching legislation and also published many new, up-and-coming African-American writers in The Crisis, the NAACP’s publication (“NAACP History”).

Q2. “Working Class Hero” by John Lennon

“Working Class Hero” by John Lennon suggests that individuals from marginalized classes of society are made to feel belittled because of their social status. Regardless of the individual’s innate ability, people who are poor are made to feel inferior through belittling comments and physical violence from authority figures. Unlike middle-class youth who are praised for their defiance and intelligence, members of the working class are demeaned. This low self-esteem has a calcifying effect upon the soul and eventually members of the working class are unable to resist the forces which conspire to make them poor….....

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Works Cited

Du Bois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.

Lennon, John. “Working Class Hero.” YouTube. Web. 3 Feb 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lKwXwU5iWs

“NAACP history: W.E.B. Du Bois.” NAACP. Web. 3 Feb 2018. http://www.naacp.org/oldest-and-boldest/naacp-history-w-e-b-dubois/

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