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Lecture 2

SOAN 2111 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Contagious Diseases Acts, Oberlin College, Inductive Reasoning

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2111
Linda Hunter

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Week 2 Readings McDonald page 164-175 Martineau
- prosperous manufacturing family
- family was Huguenot in origin, Unitarian religion and politics liberal
- she was a laissez-faire liberal
- she opposed certain, but not all, factory legislation, for her liberalism was
always qualified by a more basic Utilitarianism
- raised money for Oberlin College first university to admit women and
- age 40 refused government pension
- activist
o strong supporter of the anti-slavery movement
o worked for the vote for women and rights to education, divorce and
o wrote on violence against women
o worked with Nightingale to try to stop passage of the Contagious
Diseases Act when it was first proposed and continued in the struggle
for repeal of the various acts that were passed
o promoted promotion of public health and preventative medicine with
Nightingale (even though Martineau smoked cigars)
- first publication on methodology
o Essays on the Art of thinking - 1836
How to think logically and bring appropriate evidence to bear
on the problems of the day
Methodology for decisions on legislation, running a household,
and raising children.
Saught the causes of and best cures for evils like deficient
observation, perverted judgment, unchastened imagination,
indolent attention, and treacherous memory.
The correct process was to form theories from facts (she was
citing Francis Bacon) (I believe this is called inductive
We must discipline our minds to receive new facts without
- How to Observe Morals and Manners
o Gives practical advice on how to do research
o Martineau saw her subject as a science
o Aware that there were two parties when it came to the work of
Observer and the observed
Observers must exclude prejudice and now allow themselves
to be perplexed or disgusted
o Religious institutions should be studied by visits to temples, marking
their locality, number, diversity and theological opinion
o A society’s saints heroes and sages showed the moral taste of a people
o No better place than the cemetery to learn what moral sentiments lie
deepest in the hearts of most people the inscriptions on the
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