By Reiland Rabaka
Opposed to Epistemic Apartheid bargains an archive-informed and available creation to Du Bois's significant contributions to sociology. during this highbrow history-making quantity a number of award-winning W.E.B. Du Bois student Reiland Rabaka deals the 1st book-length therapy of Du Bois's seminal sociological discourse: from Du Bois as inventor of the sociology of race, to Du Bois because the first sociologist of yank faith; from Du Bois as a pioneer of city and rural sociology, to Du Bois as innovator of the sociology of gender and inaugurator of intersectional sociology; and, ultimately, from Du Bois as groundbreaking sociologist of schooling and important criminologist, to Du Bois as dialectical critic of the disciplinary decadence of sociology and the yank academy.
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Additional resources for Against Epistemic Apartheid: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Disciplinary Decadence of Sociology
Above and beyond issues revolving around race, gender, and class), epistemic apartheid has several distinguishing features that should be briefly discussed. First, within the world of epistemic apartheid, everything has a particular place or quarantined space, one place or single space, as places and spaces are coarsely catalogued and have meaning only in relation to each other or to an “Other,” which is also to say that every place or space must be mercilessly and mechanically ranked and registered.
According to Harding (1994), it would seem that Du Bois’s conception of science runs counter to commonly held European conceptions of science in light of the fact that, for the most part, European sciences have long had Eurocentrism, if not outright white supremacism and other elements of imperialism, at their conceptual core: Nobody has discovered an eleventh commandment handed down from the heavens specifying what may and may not be counted as a science. Obviously the project of drawing a line between science and non-science is undertaken because it emphasizes a contrast thought to be important.
Such a perspective brings with it a special fallacy. Its assertion as absolute eventually leads to no room for other disciplinary perspectives, the result of which is the rejection of them for not being one’s own. Thus, if one’s discipline has foreclosed the question of its scope, all that is left for it is a form of “applied” work. Such work militates against thinking. (4–5, emphasis in original; see also Gordon, 2006a, 2006c) What is in question here are the borders and boundaries of disciplinary knowledge and the ways in which many, if not most, academicians have repeatedly and unrepentantly rejected discipline-transcending or, rather, transdisciplinary knowledge—that is, knowledge which transgresses, transcends, and transverses disciplines or specific fields of scholarly inquiry.