chapter  Chapter 9
11 Pages

Epilogue: The Challenges of Teaching Liberation Sociology

ByJoe R. Feagin, Hernán Vera

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels once famously proposed that “the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, that is, the class which is the ruling material force of society is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.” Sociologists who wish to teach from the liberation sociology perspective need a critical awareness of this elementary fact about society, or otherwise they will end up teaching a social science that substantially derives from, and significantly supports, the ruling ideas of society. Teaching and researching from a strong liberation sociology perspective also may mean students will have to seek out “less prestigious,” in conventional terms, publication outlets and academic careers. The liberation sociology teacher can make sure that in the classroom the voices of socially oppressed groups are given a fair hearing and, where possible, are evaluated in terms of data and analysis presented in the larger course.