Taylor, Orville W
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work
Re-Appropriating the stolen legacy: The African contribution to the origin of sociological thought
Date of Publication
Argues that the discipline we have come to call sociology, generally presented as the end result of an intellectual excursion which emanated from Western Europe, owes an incredible debt to persons of African origin. Asserts that the roots of sociological thought can be traced back to a number of influences, directly or indirectly connected to the Continent, all of which have been either ignored or downplayed. Traces the history of sociological thought to its philosophical roots, linking the Comtean ideas to not only Greek philosophy but African antecedents which themselves influenced, and were approrpiated by the latter. Examines the contribution of the North African Ibn Khaldun and identifies the clear theoretical and methodological direction which appeared centuries later in the works of Marx, Weber and Durkheim, but which were not acknowledged. Attempts to re-conceptualise capitalism by incorporating the ignored reality of Africans and their centrality. Highlights conceptual and empirical ethnocentrism/racism in the foundation of social theory, which is based on the flawed analysis of modern capitalist society. Evaluates the work of WEB Du Bois, juxtaposing it against that of his contemporaries, such as Durkheim and Weber, and that of later sociologists such as Parsons. Concludes by questioning the existing paradigm, exposing the discipline as a racially appropriate phenomenon, which we need to broaden.....