Women of the time were not prominent in the field and many of their works have been lost or downplayed through sociological history. These women include Harriet Marineau, who wrote the first text on sociological research, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who wrote critical theories of child development and domestic work, Jane Addams who worked for equality among the poor. In addition, Anna Julia Cooper and Ida Wells-Barnett dealt with African American and feminist issues, while Marianne Schnitger Weber wrote of the oppression of women in both domestic and workplace settings, and Beatrice Potter Webb, who like Addams worked for government reforms to benefit the lower classes. Each woman had her own perspective and contribution to sociology, but collectively their works have left a feminist mark on the science of Sociology.
For this extra credit assignment I expect you to write a short paper (3-5 pages) on a woman founder (early woman sociologist). You are to address the following:
Provide a biographical sketchAddress their intellectual influences and core ideas Provide an overview of their theoretical orientation (meaning, are they a conflict theorist, functionalist, symbolic interactionist, and so on, Which theory camp would you argue they belong to).Concluding thoughts: What do you think about this theorist and their contribution to sociology? Have they been excluded from the conversation? Do they deserve to be included in every beginner sociological theory course?
Please include academic references (this means books, articles, dissertations, documentaries, anything peer reviewed).
The book, The Women Founders (1998) is a great place to start!
Here is a list of some of the early female scholars.
Jane Addams (1860-1935)
Jane Addams was an American sociologist, social worker, reformer, public administrator, and settlement activist. She pioneered the introduction of Sociology as an academic discipline in the United States. Addams played an important role in the United States history of womens suffrage. In 1910, Addams became the first woman to receive an honorary Master of Arts degree from Yale University. She co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1920. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1930, making her the first American woman to have bagged the award. She is also recognised as the founder of social work as a profession in the United States.
She delivered lectures at the University of Chicago. She was also a charter member of the American Sociological Society. In an article published in the American Journal of Sociology in 1896, Addams emphasized on domestic labour to address the plight of women. Her books, Youth and the City Streets (1909) and The Long Road of Womans Memory (19are based on the experiences and memories of first-generation immigrant women. Her works also focused on feminist care ethics, and on the public health-related to mothers and children of America. She closely worked with American philosophers and sociologists John Dewey and George Herbert Mead, on issues like child labour, womens rights, and so on. Her notable works include Democracy and Social Ethics (1902), Twenty Years Hull-Houses (1910), Newer Ideals of Peace (1907), and so on.
This site is from Dr. Larry Rideners Dead Sociologists Society. It includes the complete life history of Jane Addams, information about her family, significance of Addams as a sociologist, summaries of her projects in Chicago and her feminists works. Concludes with evaluations of her contributions to sociology.
Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964)
This site gives information on Anna Julia Coopers contribution to sociology through the development of Black feminism. It describes her works with African American women and the need for abolition and suffrage in America.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a commentator on the evolving social order, especially of its effects on the status of women. This article gives a good history and other authors comments on Charlotte. There is also a good bibliography page that lists the works that concern Charlotte Perkins.
Harriet Martineau (1802-1876)
Harriet Martineau is regarded as the first woman sociologist, or as the Mother of Sociology. She is known for translating August Comtes Cours de philosophie positive into English. It is also believed that Comte started reading Martineaus translations instead of his original work and even translated Martineaus work back into French again. However, besides being a translator, Martineau herself was a prominent writer and journalist of the Victorian era. The most prominent source to know about Martineaus life is her Autobiography which was written in 1855 and later published posthumously in 1877 together with Maria Chapmans Memorials of Harriet Martineau. Her contributions to the field of Sociology centres around three major works A Methodological Treatise (1838), Pre-Civil War America (1837), besides translating Comtes work. Her study focused on American slaves, democracy, equality and so on. In her work, her role as a feminist gets highlighted with her focus on the lives of women slaves in America. She is recognised for her contributions to symbolic interactions and she was one of the first sociologists to elaborate both a method and a methodology for studying social life
This site includes bibliographic information about the life of Martineau including her childhood and adult years. Discusses her writings and works in sociology, many of which were forgotten due to her gender.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862 – 1931)
Wells-Barnett used a model of social life to examine the differences in society. She looked at the interaction of powers in society which are domination and equilibrium. Wells-Barnett argued that the goal of domination is to have absolute control. In order to explain it she refers to oppression of blacks and women. They use slavery and lynching in America as an example. Wells-Barnett push that the race problem is not just about race, but also about class, whereas the purpose of lynching is to dominate. Domination is an alternative to equilibrium. They acknowledge that equilibrium is not conflict free, but it is domination free, and conflicts are solved by negotiation. Wells-Barnett believed that domination was wrong because justice is right.
Best of 2019: Unearthing Black Women’s Early Contributions to Sociology
Ida B. Wells: Suffragist, Feminist, and Leader
Beatrice Potter Webb (1858-1943)
This site contains information on Webbs life, both in her early and later years. Focuses on her work in sociology, her book, The History of Trade Unionism and Industrial Democracy, and gives criticisms of her work among the poor.
Marianne Weber (18701954)
Marianne Weber was a German Sociologist and womens rights activist. She was the wife of Max Weber. Webers sociology focused on women in a patriarchal society. She challenged the male-dominated institutions of law, history, religion, and economy through her works which mostly focused on the experiences of German women. She challenged patriarchy associated with the institution of marriage. Her book, Wife and Mother in the Development of Law were entirely devoted to the study and analysis of marriage. Her other works include Occupation and Marriage (1906), Authority and Autonomy (1912), and Women and Objective Culture (1913).
The Chicago Women’s School of Sociology (you do not need to pick one, you can just write a paper on the the CWSS).
The Chicago Women’s School of Sociology (CWSS) is a term used to describe: “the network of women who worked to produce a body of sociology linking social theory, sociological research, and social reform” (Lengermann & Niebrugge, 1998:237). The body of work produced by these women occurred primarily between 1890-1920, and was largely based out of the University of Chicago, where many attended graduate school, and Hull House, a settlement home organized to improve the condition of the working poor in the area. The Chicago Womens School believed that the purpose of sociology is to unravel the systematic social arrangements that produce human pain/suffering.
They created sociology in a shared context of ideas and action in which supported women in the move into public life. The CWSS work was rooted in various social theories, but they were highly influenced by Jane Adamss thoughts on social reform which was based on her theory of civil society that called for an adjustment between the organization of production and the ethical content of social interaction.
Some of these women are:
Edith Abbott (1876-1957): Major works focused on women in industry, child labor, and immigration.Grace Abbott (1878-1939): Major work focused on immigration.Sophonisba Breckinridge (1866-1948): Major work focused on housing, immigration, African Americans, womens work, equal payFlorence Kelley (1859-1932): Major work focused on Hull-House Maps and Papers; Some Ethical Gains through Legislation, labor studies of all sorts.Frances Kellor (1873-1952): Social causes of crime, African Americans, employment agencies, and immigration.Julia Lathrop (1858-1932): Major work focused on the analysis of charities, reports of Childrens Bureau (sweatshop labor), and Hull-House Maps and Papers.Annie Marion MacLean (1870-1934): Major work focused on work, especially womens work and wages.Marion Talbot (1858-1947): Major work focused on womens education; household management
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