Sociological theory concerns many areas of human life, and it changes and grows perpetually. Standpoint theory, for example, has been introduced as a feminist concept. As it developed, it began to consider diversifying factors among women (Ritzer, 2011). The race was one of them, and W. E. B. Du Bois was one of the contributors to a more emphatic approach to this question. Therefore, classical sociology is a constantly evolving entity that stems from people’s unique experiences and diverse contributions.
Standpoint theory considers the personal experiences and views of people. This theory sees knowledge as essential for power in the world (Ritzer, 2011). It impacted the research by outlining that females and minorities have been marginalized and should be provided with a voice. It has shown that for women, diversities are also prominent (Ritzer, 2011). Among women who significantly contributed to sociology and standpoint theory, several stand out specifically. Patricia Hill Collins was urged to forgo her background to fit the academic realm, but ultimately it allowed her to find a theoretical voice within her community. Dorothy E. Smith applied to the theory her experience of a woman between two worlds: the men-dominated academic world and the life of a single mother. The study of bifurcation, how separating of two realms of being affects women, has stemmed from it.
W. E. B. Du Bois and Questions of Race
W. E. B. Du Bois has contributed significantly to the question of race and double consciences. Regarding race, he employed the term “veil” as a barrier that separates people of color from white people. As he saw it, this barrier was not a wall, but rather a material that allows races to see each other and yet separates them (Ritzer, 2011). He also invented the concept of double consciousness: a way that African Americans see themselves through their own and other people’s eyes (Ritzer, 2011). Overall, this idea has been highly influential on more modern race theories.
Standpoint theory and Du Bois’ concepts of race greatly affect sociology. Many female sociologists used their own experiences, be it in their communities, academic or personal life, to further feminist theory. Du Bois developed a notion of a veil that separates African Americans from white people. In addition, he gave roots to the concept of double consciousness, an idea that people of color view themselves through others’ eyes.
Ritzer, G., 2011. Classical sociological theory. 6th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.