Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963; Racism in higher education;


W. E. B. Du Bois is one of the founding fathers of sociology. Despite his many contributions, he was not included in the sociological canon and given the recognition he deserves. Du Bois was an African-American scholar whose contributions lead to the development of the first school of sociology in the United States, although he has generally not been recognized for it. My research explores how the effects of the veil contribute to the interpretations of Du Bois. To investigate this question, I will perform a qualitative content analysis of selected publications by Dubosian experts who have written extensively about his life and work. Throughout the data analysis, I apply Du Bois’ theory of the “veil,” by using a diverse selection of scholars examining how they each see Du Bois through their individual lenses of race, gender, and theory. By applying the veil to Du Bois, I attempt to see if his own concept can help explain why his work so under recognized. The dataset includes authors of different genders, races, generations, and cultural backgrounds. Working within the framework of Black sociology, the results show that there is evidence of a veil, and that it does affect scholars’ interpretations of Du Bois’ life and work. The benefit of this study is to create awareness. Researchers are not aware of the often unconscious effects of the veil on their own work. Furthermore, research focusing on people of color will be more beneficial and accurate if it is free of the veil – or in other words, free of racial bias and more culturally aware.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Harry Brod

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iv, 95 pages)



File Format


Included in

Sociology Commons