John Dollard: Caste and Class Revisited

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John Dollard: Caste and Class Revisited

by William R. Ferris
Southern Cultures, Vol. 10, No. 2: Summer 2004

"That whole church would be a riot of the most beautiful songs. To be in the middle of it was for me an ecstasy, one of the greatest experiences of my life. I found it heavenly and unbelievably delightful, freeing and liberating. An odd thing about it was that the singing would never completely die down."

John Dollard’s Caste and Class in a Southern Town was first published in 1937 and offers a thoughtful view from the psychologist’s perspective of how caste and class shaped race relations in the Deep South. Dollard’s interest in class was influenced by William Lloyd Warner, a sociologist and anthropologist who applied class structure to sociological studies of American society in works like his Social Class in America (1949).