Amid the 2020 call to action to expand the sociological canon, sociologists have been encouraged to engage the contributions of diverse theorists in their courses. Extant research on graduate-level classical theory courses has explored the absence of early women theorists from these courses at elite institutions. This dissertation advanced the literature by 1) analyzing the diffusion of classical Black women theorists in graduate-level classical theory syllabi, 2) analyzing the discursive constructions of classical theorists in the syllabi, and 3) investigating the factors that influenced which classical theorists are included in these courses. Data consisted of 50 graduate classical theory syllabi from doctoral-granting institutions and in-depth qualitative interviews with 10 faculty members who teach the courses. The findings demonstrate that Black women do not have the same representation as other groups in these courses. Additionally, a critical discourse analysis revealed that theorists were constructed as Hierarchical – which valued a small collection of theorists – or Corrective – which valued the contributions of diverse theorists, including Black women. Interview data revealed that faculty developed their classical theory courses using materials from their graduate training, and research expectations limited the time they had to engage with unfamiliar theorists. Faculty were encouraged by graduate students to include diverse theorists, although some expressed concerns about including diverse theorists meaningfully. This study illustrates that systemic gendered racism underscores how classical Black women theorists are conceptualized and that their scholarship is not valued as a form of cultural capital that will translate into social mobility for graduate students
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Stone, Ashley, "In Plain Sight: Examining the Diffusion of Black Women's Knowledge in the Era of Expanding the Sociological Canon" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1673.