The social question”

Jane Addams’s Hull House

Du Bois’s Laboratory of Sociology

The Pittsburgh Survey

From the Roaring ‘20s to the Reactionary ‘80s

Reading: Lathrop; Morris (chapters 2-8); O’Connor (Chs. 1-6); ASA History

Questions: Consider either sociology’s split from social work or the discontinuance of projects like the Pittsburgh Survey. Do you consider it a loss for sociology or a step in the right direction? How do you think the history of sociology might have differed if this step had not been taken?

student comment: I think sociology’s split from social work is a step in the right direction. Just as social work was described as “soft, amateur, feminized”, the split seemed to be a passive separation caused by discrimination. However, I may argue that even without such discrimination, the history of sociology would still have a chapter of separation.

In my opinion, sociology and social work emphasize different aspects of social science. Sociology is more about using rigorous, theoretically rooted knowledge to understand and explain complex societies; social work is more about discovering and solving practical problems with humanistic care. Both require large specialized skills and knowledge different from each other. Therefore, it is necessary to develop independently to become more specialized. Additionally, Social science needs both neutrality and the power of care. Compared with mixing them and looking for an internal balance, it’s not bad to separate them and let them complement each other.

I admit that the split could cause the gap between theory and practice, hindering the original intention to jointly promote social progress. However, the emergence of Applied Sociology makes up for this defect to a certain extent. From another perspective, it is the split that brings a great opportunity for Applied Sociology.

No discipline is born perfect. Merged or split, both are in the process of development and self-improvement.

Please respond to student comment. 
Answers should be 2-3 paragraphs.2 attachmentsSlide 1 of 2

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O’Connor, Alice. 2007. Social Science for What? Philanthropy and the Social Question in a World Turned Rightside Up. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Chapter 1. Engaging the Social Question at the Early Russell Sage Foundation. “The Pittsburgh Survey has been a rapid, close range investigation of living conditions in the Pennsylvania steel district. .It has been made practicable by co-operation from two quarters—from a remarkable group of leaders and organizations in social and sanitary movements in different parts of the United States, who entered upon the field work as a piece of national good citizenship; and for men, women and organizations in Pittsburgh who were large-minded enough to regard their local situation as not private and peculiar, but a part of the American problem of city building. Paul U. Kellogg, The Pittsburgh Survey. (O’Connor p 13) First major project of Russell Sage Foundation 1907-1908. Figure 1.1 (p. 15). Legacy now unrecognized. Vision of a purposive, social science. Through the 1930s, numerous private and public agencies used social research as socially purposive, but also rigorously objective and empirical. Uncover root causes of social problems and inequities, with social facts, expert-led, scientifically directed, but not exclusively academic or otherwise professionalized. Involve large, varied, amateur and expert public in gathering social facts and debating them. Better knowledge about social conditions or programs, and open new ways of thinking about society and social problems. Jane Addams Working People’s Social Science Club. After WWII, seen as soft, amateur, feminized social work and charity. Value of learning from efforts to engage a broader public, recognize pure objectivity is impossible (social science involves human judgments and value decisions at every stage), neutrality is a historically contingent concept. Social science shaped and continually reshaped in periods of political and ideological crisis and change. Possible to be socially purposive and clear about acknowledging the value commitments that motivate research while respecting the norms of rigorous empirical inquiry—objective and neutrality are not the same (historian Thomas Haskell) (19-22). Social science, ideology, and reform. Motives for early social science (among elite and others in US) in midst of profound social change: modernist rejection of revealed truth and received doctrine in favor of more contingent, empirical approach; distinctively scientific approach to understanding social change; reimagining public problems as interdependent, collective, social rather than individual and private or class or partisan or otherwise particularistic; framework for reevaluating and reimagining existing arrangements with larger sense of public purpose; pragmatic—avoid blind adherence to fixed doctrine; neutrality per se not bedrock principle in re social gospel and moral concerns about effects of laissez faire capitalism; expose distance between social values and social reality. RSF as first large professional general purpose foundation in US. Pittsburgh Survey most comprehensive expression of its purposive social science. Massive year-long inquiry. Based in NYCOS publications committee, including Jane Addams and Jacob Riis. Multimethod. Researchers: mostly young women. Did not lead to community mobilization or consensus building; few immediate concrete effects. Important role in promoting social research in democratic public sphere. RSF attempt to make underlying social conditions rather than individual pauperism the target of charitable investigation and intervention. Mary van Kleeck led women’s division at RSF from 1910, with research on women’s work, immigs, contribution to Brandeis briefs favoring protective labor legislation. Supported USSR after great depression. Ch. 2. Social science, the social question, and the value-neutrality debate. Late 1940s, “vision of a neutral, politically detached, and more academically grounded and ‘scientistic’ social science.” (48) as with corporate-government-academic alliance envisioned in Herbert Hoover’s associative state. Massive infusions of support for U of C, Columbia, NBER (1920), SSRC (1923), Brookings (1927). Hoover-commissioned Recent Social Trends published in 1934 (as detached, technical, for more efficient planning, and value-neutral). V vision of Robert S. Lynd, Knowledge for What (1939), Myrdal An American Dilemma (1944), then CW Mills. Challenges of inequality and ideology to neutral social knowledge ideal. Constructing neutrality in response to government criticism of foundations’ backers (eg, Rockefeller) and basic conservatism of corporate liberalism. Ogburn (ASS president) and others focus on empiricism and not value goals. SSRC—strictly neutral and focus on better methods. Emph on scientific theory and methods v reform. RE Park on racial progress as part of natural cycle of assimilation, and Ogburn focus on cultural lag within context of modernization. Economics focus on marginal theory. Hoover favored social science for better government. Apolitical framing of issues as natural change, commitment to capitalism and status quo, framing values as scientific theory and method, and rejecting social betterment as legitimate focus for social science. Critique of Lynd re Knowledge for What, and social science not assuming responsibility of social knowledge to democracy in crisis. Middletown funded by Rockefeller, but then disowned due to questioning direction of US society re community and democracy. Gunnar Myrdal: for keeping valuations explicit in science. “the fundamentally moral nature of the social problem.” (68) Am social science had deep-seated bias toward do-nothing attitudes, undermining purposive social action (69). Part II: Understanding the challenge from the right. Aggressively antistatist laissez-faire ideology reframed social question. Chapter 3: from consensus to counterrevolution in the postwar politics of knowledge Modern conservatism transformed from ideology of reaction to radical reform, opposing New Deal, permissive counterculture, 1960s radicalism. Joining moral traditionalists and free marketers in fight against liberalism, to restore country to core values, or its original intent. Use of knowledge—a new philanthropic right—for partisan politics and on behalf of elite business interests. “Attacking social science as a way of knowing as a way of defining the public interest, and as a way of essentializing the values underlying the liberal consensus. Defensive liberalism. Portrayed as permisssive culturally relativist, little effective resistance. Social science, the liberal consensus, and the ‘problem’ of ideology. Defining goal of postwar social science: defining ideology out of existence in American politics and culture: the end of ideology. Valorizing a broad, pragmatic, basically liberal ideological consensus Postideological politics, in contrast to Nazism and Soviet communism, to be based on pluralistic give and take of group interests and identities. View of major ideological struggles settled in industrialized West in continuing prosperity and economic growth, with political democracy, state regulated capitalism, race and ethnic pluralism, incremental improvement in women’s civil and political rights, mildly redistributive welfare states. Cultural commitment to Enlightenment principles of rationality, scientific knowledge as guides for policy and social progress. Knowledge and rationally conceived group interests replaced ideology as driving in politics and culture, and postindustrial capitalism as engine of economic growth (Daniel Bell). Boundaries between public and private (culture, eros, religion) settled. Underlying advances in technology and knowledge were making permanent and widely shared prosperity possible. Social science at vital center of postwar liberal project. Rigorous, theoretically rooted knowledge needed for complex society, not just applied social science. Need to expand liberal vision for more state-centered social welfare, labor, regulation, planning version of liberalism, with more federally centralized state. Racial assimilation (in name only), need to contain Soviet threat (esp. re developing world). Confront dilemmas of economic, political, racial democracy. Postwar expansion of philanthropy and social science foundations—esp from military. New social science programs in fed agencies, NSF, NIH. Investigating problems and gradual social reform, theory of modernization. Creation of Rand Corporation, UW IRP, Urban Institute. Systems analysis. Institutionalization of social science expertise, rather than engaging with the informed public. Keynesian economics. Emphasis on consensus for socially conscious capitalism. Liberal social scientists did not take the right seriously, critiqued the “paranoid style” and viewed it as spent after McCarthy and Goldwater. Kept up image of neutral social science. The revolt against pragmatism. In McCarthy period, major foundations attacked as unAmerican, propagandizing a collectivist worldview, so a counterrevolution was needed. Charges of cultural relativism, liberal interlock, subversive values, anti-americanism. Foundations defended objectivity and decreased funding for more controversial grantees Mont Pelerin Society: until 70s, major annual postwar international conservative gathering. Unregulated market capitalism as foundation of political freedom. Friedrich August von Hayek as leader of free market devotees, anti-Keysians, but argued for active state to create framework for making market competition central organizing principle. Moved to U of C. Joseph Schumpeter, Harvard economist, lauded capitalism’s creative destruction, and feared of “new class” resulting from managerial rationalism that Clark Kerr and JK Galbraith heralded as force for social enlightenment. Richard Weaver, U of C instructor of composition and rhetoric, wrote Ideas Have Consequences (1948) as attack on rational empirical inquiry rather than transcendent virtues and eternal truths as foundation of importance of knowledge. Chapter 4: The Poor Law, the Social Question, and the New Politics of Reform. Charles Murray (1874). Losing Ground, Often credited with changing the conversation over welfare and on permissive liberal welfare state. Foundation for right-wing activists bringing together the new and old rightists and blueprint for Reagan’s campaign against welfare and the “neutral expertise of the poverty research establishment.” Template for discussion of wider array of domestic social issues, and blaming liberal permissiveness. 1971: Reagan overhaul of public assistance in CA—CA Blueprint—and in opposition of Nixon’s FAP that had been endorsed by the social scientific establishment. Goals: diminish federal government role, assist only the ‘truly needy’ poor, purge the ‘undeserving,’ eliminate ‘waste, fraud, abuse,’ require mandatory community work for able-bodied, enforce individual and family responsibility (esp absent parents), cap program growth (fixed sums to localities). Return to the poor law tradition. –a political program for the emergent conservative right. New approach: demonization of AFDC. Emphasis on welfare’s immorality. Emphasis on welfare’s immorality, bureaucrats, underservingness, antistatism. Distinguished unique critique. Call attention to the immorality of the liberal state. Discourse of undeservingness, related to racialized and gendered fears. Welfare queen charge. Aiming at working-class constituency. Welfare reform as a way to tap into racial resentments of the white working class, esp. just-above-poverty working class. Yet employed people earning poverty wages were most severely punished by Reagan proposal: eliminating income allowances, tightening asset limits, work requirements for welfare, eviscerating training programs. Government too big, taxes too high—and serving the wrong people, society too permissive. Need for “real reform” in welfare. (1) Reliance on anecdote and cultural narrative, rather than statistical, rigorously empirical mainstream policy analysis. (2) use knowledge as an ideology al and movement-building force. Chapter 5: The Counterintelligentsia, the Social Question, and the New Gospel of Wealth. New Gospel of Wealth for conservative philanthropy: establish limited government, free enterprise, individualism as prevailing political norms. (1) fund institutions with unrestricted and infrastructural grants, rather than project-based; (2) emphasize core ideas over empirical research; (3) coordinated strategy of network-building; (4) unapologetic commitment to a conservative political and ideological agenda Key factors in growth: increasing role of neoconservatives (former left-liberals), with social science authority; emerging alliance of CEO-dominated business and conservative New Class intellectuals; timing after crises of 1960s and in 1970s recurrent oil, inflation, and fiscal crises. Core ideas: critique of New Class of bourgeois intellectuals with antibusiness bias and incompetence; funding professors on campus and create conservative counterintelligentsia; framing issues in starkly ideological terms—clash of values, culture, civilization—war of ideas. 1977: Henry Ford II resigned from board of Ford Foundation, criticized foundation disengagement from system of competitive enterprise. Conservative foundations sought to defund the left but also emulate their success in impacting the political agenda. Funding conservative student newspapers on elite campuses. Chapter 6: Conclusion Progressive intellectuals: pursuit of knowledge both objective and purposive. In spite of empirical weakness, Murray’s attack captured sentiment as a “higher truth” without an effective response from liberal foundations. Pittsburgh Survey and other RSF projects, and Myrdal, both empirical and systematic, but also motivated by clear sense of public purpose, re social betterment or racial justice, with broad relevance. Social question is much broader than research question, with focus on social meaning and value of wage-earning, eg. Foundations can also recognize continual contest and debate over the social question—and seek to question current assumptions, and recognize role in legitimizing social science and acting for public interest and public social purposes, and think more broadly about publics engaged in social scientific research. Praise for The Scholar Denied “In The Scholar Denied, Aldon Morris tests, and convincingly proves, the belief, too long repressed, that W. E. B. Du Bois not only played a pivotal role in the birth of modern scientific sociology in America but was its founding father, on either side of the color line. Toppling prevailing truths like the towering genius at the center of this development, Morris’s account offers a fresh and crisply researched reinterpretation of Du Bois’s pathbreaking Atlanta school of sociology and is sure to be a major book.” —Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University “Aldon Morris’s The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology is one of those landmark studies that change the way we think about a historical occurrence. This well-written book is replete with original insights that challenge conventional wisdom on the origins and development of American sociology. Morris’s meticulous scholarship, based on a careful analysis of revealing primary documents as well as secondary sources, details fascinating and new information regarding Du Bois’s seminal role in the development of scientific sociology and his relationships with Booker T. Washington, Robert Park, and other members of the Chicago school, and with the preeminent social scientist Max Weber. The Scholar Denied is a must-read for those interested in how race, power, and economics determine the fate of intellectual schools.” —William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University The Scholar Denied The publisher gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the African American Studies Endowment Fund of the University of California Press Foundation. The Scholar Denied W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology Aldon D. Morris UN IV E R S ITY O F C A L IFO R N IA P R E SS University of California Press, one of the most distinguished university presses in the United States, enriches lives around the world by advancing scholarship in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Its activities are supported by the UC Press Foundation and by philanthropic contributions from individuals and institutions. For more information, visit University of California Press Oakland, California © 2015 by The Regents of the University of California Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Morris, Aldon D., author. The scholar denied : W.E.B. Du Bois and the birth of modern sociology / Aldon D. Morris. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-520-27635-2 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN 978-0-520-28676-4 (pbk. : alk. paper) ISBN 978-0-520-96048-0 (ebook) 1. Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868–1963. 2. Sociology—United States—History. 3. Sociologists—United States. I. Title. E185.97.D73M67 2015 301.092—dc23 2014042410 Manufactured in the United States of America 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 In keeping with a commitment to support environmentally responsible and sustainable printing practices, UC Press has printed this book on Natures Natural, a fiber that contains 30% post-consumer waste and meets the minimum requirements of ANSI/NISO Z39.48–1992 (R 1997) (Permanence of Paper). This book is dedicated to the pioneering scholars and researchers of the Du Bois–Atlanta school of sociology and to all scholars who have been denied because of discrimination and oppression. It is also dedicated to my mother, Mary Lyles, and my grandparents, Albert and Flavelia Morris. Contents Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: Race and the Birth of American Sociology 1. The Rise of Scientific Sociology in America 2. Du Bois, Scientific Sociology, and Race 3. The Du Bois–Atlanta School of Sociology 4. The Conservative Alliance of Washington and Park 5. The Sociology of Black America: Park versus Du Bois 6. Max Weber Meets Du Bois 7. Intellectual Schools and the Atlanta School 8. Legacies and Conclusions Plates Notes References Illustration Credits Index Preface The origins of this book lie in my childhood in the heartland of Jim Crow racism in rural Tutwiler, Mississippi, where I was born in 1949. As a boy, I experienced and witnessed black life in the Deep South of the 1950s, drinking from the “colored” water fountain and receiving ice cream through the small shutter in back of the segregated Dairy Queen. I attended the small, colored elementary school, where during fall terms my classmates, who had not yet reached puberty, disappeared for several months to pick cotton so their families could survive. I was aware in the early hours of fall mornings that white men drove pickup trucks to the black side of town and loaded blacks to drop off on farms. I remember in blistering hot weather how whites sat under shade trees while we worked the fields dripping sweat from sunup to sundown. Yet, with all the backbreaking work, we never had enough to eat or adequate clothes to wear. As a young child, I tried to make sense of why we had it so bad while white children seemed to have it all. As an adult I now understand that I experienced a predicament that Du Bois had conceptualized as a caste system and a new slavery of debt peonage. There was also fear and violence, both of which I experienced through the indoctrination of Jim Crow ru…

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