Social Issues Involving Gender And Race

877 Words Mar 29th, 2016 4 Pages
In the field of Sociology, when it comes to the subject of race and gender there are two sociologist that come to mind. Charlotte P. Gilman was an American feminist, sociologist, and novelist. W.E.B Du Bois was an American sociologist, civil rights activist, and author. I will be comparing and contrasting Charlotte Perkins Gilman and W.E.B. Du Bois based on their theories. Social issues involving gender and race are still relevant in modern times. The power struggle women and people of color faced during their time is a conflict that still exists in modern society. There are some similarities in how Gilman and Du Bois theories – they both apply Karl Marx’s conflict theory. Gilman stated that the traditional family structure is exploitable; this is similar to how Marx discussed the exploitation of labor and the workers. Marx saw conflict between the bourgeoisie, who are the owners of production, and proletariat, the workers. In the case of Gilman, she described a conflict existing between men and women. In the case of Du Bois, he described a conflict existing within race and class – to him the problems Blacks faced in America were created by the ‘white man’ and Blacks did not have to prove themselves to whites. Like Marx, Gilman believes that the basic driving force of humanity is economic production (Allan 2013:190-192). Marx’s conflict theory stated that the bourgeoisie owned everything while the proletariat worked for them; Gilman’s conflict theory stated the inequality…
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