Black Sociology

The Sociology of Knowledge, Racialized Power Relations of Knowledge and Humanistic Liberation

Authored by: Jennifer Padilla Wyse

The Ashgate Research Companion to Black Sociology

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472456762
eBook ISBN: 9781315612775
Adobe ISBN: 9781317044024


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Theories of knowledge creation, or epistemology, are socio-historical, political and cultural processes of meaning-making (Bourdieu 1977; Du Bois 1935; Sprague 2005; Collins 2000). Within the tradition of Black sociology, the sociology of knowledge is an important area of study that seeks to understand social and racialized forces shaping knowledge production and reproduction (Collins 2000: 270; Du Bois 1935; Woodson 1933). Feminist scholars identify three essential elements of epistemology: the knower, the known, and the process of knowing (Sprague 2005: 31). Together the triad of epistemology allows for an analysis of the ways “power-relations shape who is believed and why” (Collins 2000: 270).

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